Nissan Philippines brought us to a track day in order to experience its latest sports cars, the new 2024 Nissan Z, and the refreshed GT-R. These two vehicles represent the brand’s commitment to still building cars that cater to enthusiasts, but for this video, most of our attention will be focused on the Z, since this is what most of you are probably keen to find out.
Nissan Z: The Everyday Sports Car
Continuing a long heritage of well-engineered everyday usable sports cars, the 2024 Nissan Z rides on a heavily revised version of the 370Z’s platform, featuring a double-wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension. A 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 that produces 383 horsepower and 475 Nm of torque resides under its hood, sending power to the rear wheels through a limited-slip differential (LSD), via a 9-speed automatic or an optional 6-speed manual.
Make no mistake, the new Z is a potent sports car, but its orientation as with the 370Z, is to be more of a grand tourer (GT). That’s evident immediately just after a few seconds of getting acquainted with this car on track. That GT orientation is mainly due to its soft suspension, which was actually by design. Nissan’s engineers wanted the Z to be usable on a daily basis–one that wouldn’t give you an aching back after a long drive.
The soft suspension is just right in its damping, enough only to communicate how the chassis is performing through the bends, aided by an electric steering that’s responsive, albeit somewhat lacking in feel on center. There also isn’t a lot of turbo lag, and the boost is delivered in a manner that once it fully spools up, it doesn’t deliver all of its torque in an uncontrolled manner. The new Z is an interesting sports car, which due to its GT orientation, also means there’s more driver involvement to keep it composed on track.
Nissan GT-R: A Car That Makes You Feel Like An Expert
Meanwhile, how does the facelifted 2024 Nissan GT-R, which only got revised aesthetics and a significant price hike for the 2024 model year, perform on the track? Thankfully, I’ve already driven and reviewed the previous GT-R, so I know what it feels like already from behind the wheel, but not on track.
With the entire Clark International Speedway at your disposal, I was looking forward to hammering down the GT-R on track. And you know what? This GT-R, even in 2023 and without any major mechanical updates since 2017, is still no joke. That ATTESA all-wheel drive (AWD) system (which, by the way, stands for Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain), claws on to the road so well, shuffling power to the wheel that has the most grip transparently and naturally that you don’t notice it in the background.
You know simply know the ATTESA AWD system, the electronically-controlled suspension, and the vehicle dynamics control system working all in tandem to deliver mechanical and grip levels that I don’t think I’ll ever reach even on track, Whereas the Z makes you work harder to keep it composed, the GT-R makes it easy to feel like a pro behind the wheel. It also helps that the hydraulic steering is rich in feel and very involving to use.
So, the Nissan GT-R is still a monster in 2023. While the mechanicals are largely the same since its 2017 major facelift, this new GT-R still reminds us that this car is no joke. The GT-R car has a much higher mechanical and grip limit to explore compared to the Z, and one that a driver like me will likely never reach even on track.
Basically, the GT-R is a supercar slayer that makes you feel like a hero—one that gives you the confidence to push it harder lap after lap. The Z, on the other hand, because you have to work harder to extract the most out of it, ends up as the more involving sports car.
In the end, these two sports cars have different target markets and audiences, but the more important part here is, Nissan is still keeping car enthusiasts happy with two sports cars that they independently developed. That alone is already worth celebrating. The 2024 Nissan Z is very much worth it at under P3,888,000, while the new GT-R is a lot more expensive now at P12,445,000. Is it worth it? Though it’s already more than a decade old, its performance is still hard to beat–even with other performance cars at its price point. It’s not the supercar-slaying bargain that it used to be, but it’s still cheaper than getting a European equivalent in terms of performance.