The manual transmission will be more fun, but the automatic has a weird advantage.
The official US launch of the all-new 2023 Nissan Z took place recently, and while we can't tell you what it drives like yet, there is an exciting topic to discuss surrounding the all-new car.
At the launch, Jalopnik noticed a difference in sound between the nine-speed automatic and the six-speed manual. Nissan's staff confirmed that the automatic was indeed louder due to California's noise regulation tests.
The US is already strict regarding exhaust noise, but California is the state with the most stringent guidelines. So that's the standard used to ensure that a new car will pass the tests in every other state.
But that does not explain why the automatic is louder...
To understand why the automatic is louder, we need to look at the tests. Created by the Society of Automotive Engineers, manual and automatic transmissions are subjected to different tests.
Both cars must accelerate to 31 mph, at which point the noise is measured. Manual cars have to complete the test in second or third gear. More often than not, this means taking the engine to the redline, producing a lot of noise.
Automatic models have to accelerate as quickly as possible without forcing a downshift. This means an automatic can slowly accelerate in whatever gear gets them to 31 mph with the least amount of noise.
It's a pity because we got up close and personal with the Z at the recent New York Motor show. The Z looks much better in the flesh, and we were looking forward to hearing those twin exhausts howl.
The 400 hp output from the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 only arrives at 6,400 rpm, which means this is the kind of car you want to rev out. Allegedly.
This will most likely be the last ICE Z-car ever, as confirmed by our recent interview with Nissan's head designer. The last time we'll get to enjoy Nissan's famous V6 turn gas into speed and noise.
Thankfully, there's a large aftermarket for such things, and we expect many manual Z owners will drive their cars directly from the dealership to an aftermarket exhaust shop.