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Nissan Z manual almost didn’t happen, now 70 per cent of orders

The new Nissan Z has so far had over 1200 orders in Australia and much to the delight of the company and car enthusiasts, about 70 per cent of them have been for the six-speed manual transmission.

To guarantee the final outcome of market reach and affordability, the Japanese giant decided to use a selection of existing parts, including an engine from Infiniti and the existing platform from the 370Z.

However, at the very beginning of the project in 2017, there was internal pressure to kill the manual transmission, according to the project’s head, Hiroshi Tamura, with the thought being that demand for such transmissions would be negligible.

Thankfully, the powers that be, eventually agreed with Tamura that demand for a manual would still be justifiable from a business case perspective.

The Nissan Z manual is the same gearbox from the 370Z, despite the 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine having 298kW of power and 475Nm of torque (up from 253kW of power and 371Nm of torque in the 370Z). The main changes have been the point of the change ‘click’ and a slightly smoother shift.

The nine-speed automatic gearbox is also a ‘parts-bin special’, having been used in vehicles like the Nissan Frontier/Pathfinder, but tuned specifically for the Z.

According to Nissan Australia, the initial high uptake of manual transmission will settle down over the vehicle’s lifetime and should see it make up about 40 percent of sales overall.

In terms of other figures, the most popular colour has been blue with super black roof (26 per cent of orders) and Everest white with super black roof (16 per cent of orders).

Both the manual and automatic also have launch control and the manual is also capable of shifting without the driver lifting from the accelerator pedal.

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