The new Nissan Z is the affordable, turbocharged Japanese sports car modern enthusiasts have been waiting for. So why couldn’t Toyota do the same?

And while online comments are no indicator of sales success, quotes from Nissan bosses indicate this is a car pitched firmly at these enthusiasts, including hardcore Zed-car fans that, in the words of Chief Product Specialist for the Z, Hiroshi Tamura, “love the Z for different reasons, such as … positive memories they may have had with past generations”.

Admittedly, Nissan had the benefit of being able to carry over the 370Z’s architecture largely unchanged (with both new and old cars sharing a wheelbase), rather than invest in developing a new platform. Nonetheless, it was still able to develop a new, low-volume sports car with its own engine, platform and technology, without the help of a partner.

It’s also roughly US$10,000 (AUD$13,500) higher than the entry-level version of the outgoing 370Z in the US, though the new model offers a far longer list of standard equipment including a feature-dense touchscreen infotainment system (rather than a push-button radio), LED headlights and tail-lights, a full suite of active safety technology, and the turbo V6 mechanicals.

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