The Nissan Z and Toyota 86 will soon be vying for the hearts and minds of drivers everywhere and even though they’re not 1:1 competitors, it can be assumed that they’re aimed at more or less the same person.
I won’t say that the Nissan Z is going to save Nissan, and I won’t say that the GR 86 will vindicate those who swore the previous version of the car just needed more power. But I will say that both of these machines look like they’ll do their nameplates justice.
I like the idea of the 86 more than the Z. I’ll take a naturally aspirated engine over forced induction all day because I’m a romantic, but forced induction has come a long way, too. The near elimination of turbo-lag in recent years really weakens the argument against turbocharged power plants.
Then again, while I like the idea of the 86, the design of the new Z is awesome from front to back. The interior is exciting! The cabin actually shows creativity, but not for its own sake. The changes look genuinely functional — like those awesome air vents on the door that clean up the dash.
Making something different and functional is not always easy. When I look at the rest of the Z, in aggregate, I think it’s better designed than the Toyota, which strikes me as OK but lacking the Z’s stand out features.
Also, I have to say that they kind of look similar. Am I the only one that’s seeing this? Sure, both are sports cars, but overall I think they have very similar front ends and you can’t say the same about the previous generations of these cars. Though, because of the cool design bits on the new Z, the 86 just ends up looking a little boring in comparison.
How about you? What do you think of these new, old cars? What’s your take on the new Nissan Z and Toyota GR 86?