It Looks Like the Next-Gen Nissan Z Will Get a Manual Transmission

Your move, Supra.

Ahead of the car’s full reveal slated for September 16, Nissan is releasing a trickle feed of teasers for the Z Proto, a prototype that will preview the long-awaited, next-gen Z sports car. If the company’s latest clip is any indication, the purists in the crowd can rest easy because it looks like Nissan’s future coupe is retaining the manual transmission option.

Blink and you may miss it, but near the end of the teaser video, a driver’s hand can be seen resting on what is presumably a shifter. Unless Nissan is teasing some sort of newfangled infotainment input device or an automatic gear selector—a possibility we shouldn’t completely discount but would be extremely lame on Nissan’s part—the next Z is keeping the manual. 

In another era, an already-manual sports car getting a new version that’ll also have a manual would hardly be front-page news, but these days, it sadly kind of is. In addition to allegedly offering more horsepower for less money, the presence of a clutch pedal would give the future Nissan yet another leg up on the rivaling Toyota GR Supra which, as of the 2021 model year, still does not offer a manual transmission. 

The rest of the video, meanwhile, confirms what we already knew: the next Z’s headlights and profile will take inspiration from the original 240Z from the ’70s while its rear end will resemble that of the Z32 300ZX from the ’90s. In case you missed it from last week, here’s a sketch from Nissan design boss Alfonso Albaisa showing off the latter.

When the Z Proto’s production-ready version hits the streets…sometime within the next few years, it’ll finally put the 370Z to rest, a car that’s been soldiering on in Nissan’s lineup since 2009.

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