The automotive industry has been in the process of serious transformations in the last several years and there are no signs of this evolution slowing down. Or, using simpler words, like it or not, electrification is slowly but steadily arriving in all its forms. Still, we have great sports cars currently on sale from the old-school type and it is probably safe to say these could be some of the last combustion-powered performance machines in history. The 2024 Ford Mustang and the 2023 Nissan Z seen here represent two completely different philosophies in the same segment and we are eager to see how these two cars compare.
Sam CarLegion on YouTube gives us a direct drag race between the new Mustang and the reborn Fairlady. This is a traditional quarter-mile drag race (there's also a rolling-start race) and the two sports car achieve their mission using different powertrains. The Mustang in GT trim uses a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8, which is good for 480 horsepower and 418 pound-feet of torque. This particular yellow Mustang GT doesn’t have the performance package and channels the power to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox.
Gallery: 2024 Ford Mustang GT First Drive
The transmission is one of the few things the two cars have in common. The Nissan Z also uses a three-pedal setup with six gears but it is mated to a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine. The sports coupe from Japan is driven by its rear wheels only, too. It is lighter, smaller, and nimbler than the Mustang but is also slightly underpowered at 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque.
It turns out that, despite the completely different concepts, these two sports cars have very similar performance on the road. Eventually, it all comes down to traction and in most cases, the Mustang struggles to find enough grip for its rear wheels. But once it gets them to channel all the power to the ground without spinning, the Nissan starts to lag behind. See more in the video attached at the top of this page.