Why on Earth Is a Nissan Z Costlier Than a More Powerful BMW M2 These (Crazy) Days?

Nissan of America recently announced the pricing details for the seventh-generation 2024 Z Nismo, and it costs a resounding $65k without even factoring in the destination fees. As such, the 420-hp Japanese sports car is more expensive than a BMW M2 in the United States.
2024 Nissan Z Nismo vs competitors 9 photos
Photo: Nissan / BMW / Toyota
2024 Nissan Z Nismo vs competitors2024 Nissan Z Nismo vs competitors2024 Nissan Z Nismo vs competitors2024 Nissan Z Nismo vs competitors2024 Nissan Z Nismo vs competitors2024 Nissan Z Nismo vs competitors2024 Nissan Z Nismo vs competitors2024 Nissan Z Nismo vs competitors
So, why on Earth is a Nissan more expensive than a more powerful, equivalent BMW these mind-boggling days? The short answer is simple: 'Because it can!' The longer one is a bit more composed, and because I always considered the all-new Z a genuine sports car and an incredible snatch in Z Performance form, I will also try to make a case for the Z Nismo to see if they are right to slap us silly with these prices or not. So, back to the initial short answer, let us elaborate a bit more on that one.

Thus, they can do that because 99% of US automakers are hiking prices like there's no tomorrow. Tesla is a lone ranger in that department, and its decision to do so was met with humongous backlash – from investors, from competitors which had to take that into account, and even from so-called experts. In the end, though, the Tesla Model Y is on its way to becoming the year's best-selling EV by a humongous margin and could end up on top of the overall sales charts in Europe!

Additionally, the direct competition is still above the 2024 Nissan Z's MSRPs. More precisely, the way lower-powered 2024 Toyota GR Supra 2.0 costs at least $45,540, whereas the 2024 Nissan Z Sport kicks off at $42,210. So, do we even dare to compare a 3.0-liter twin-turbo with 400 horsepower to GR Supra's meager 2.0-liter turbo inline-four packing 255 horsepower? That's not a joke, by the way – so the regular Z retains its factor of accessibility when thinking about how much HP it boasts.

Additionally, the 420-horsepower 2024 Nissan Z Nismo is $64,990 (plus $1,095 for destination and handling), while the 2024 Toyota GR Supra (3.0) 45th Anniversary goes for $64,375. Again, they might seem on par, but the latter is just a special edition. In contrast, the former has new bodywork details in signature red trim, a taller three-piece rear spoiler, an additional 20 hp, and 34 lb-ft compared to other Z grades, plus a host of other mods: "Unique stabilizer bars, a stiffer spring rate, and larger, retuned dampers work with wider rear wheels and Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT600 tires, among others."

As such, when comparing the 2024 Nissan Z and Z Nismo with the lower-powered Toyota GR Supra (even the 3.0 only has up to 382 horsepower), the advantage is for the seventh-gen Z-Car. Of course, in the real world, various tests have proven that because Supra's engine comes from BMW, it's seriously underrated, as per tradition. Now, let's move to other potential rivals.

2024 Nissan Z Nismo vs competitors
Photo: Nissan
First and foremost, the 2024 Ford Mustang (S650) is about to remain the only pony/muscle car option for ICE-powered fans from the big Detroit Three. So, it's the only foe for the Nissan Z Nismo – a distant one, at best, since it's larger and heavier. Alas, I am pretty sure that some folks will pit the 2024 Nissan Z Nismo against the Ford Mustang GT or Dark Horse in quarter-mile dragstrip battles. Thus, it stands to reason that some customers might cross-shop the two of them.

Well, on this occasion, the advantage goes to the Blue Oval, which remains a more balanced offer as far as the MSRPs and power levels go. For example, the 2024 Ford Mustang GT Fastback with 480 hp (486 with the optional active exhaust) is much more powerful even compared to the Z Nismo and comes out the factory gates from just $42,495. If you want to splurge on the Dark Horse, the 500-hp version starts at less than $60k ($52,900), so you could even treat yourself to a Dark Horse Premium ($63,265) and still save some cash for a tank full of gas and a pocket full of smiles.

What is even worse is that Nissan is basically trespassing into premium territory. The Bavarians from BMW offer the second-generation G87 BMW M2 sport compact car in North America, and you can have the higher-performance version of the "already-sporty two-door coupe" for 'just' $63,200. Fitted with the 3.0-liter BMW M TwinPower turbo inline-six-cylinder engine and RWD, this true heir of the E30 BMW M3 days is rocking even more oomph than the 2024 Nissan Z Nismo with 453 ponies and 4.2 seconds to 60 mph (96 kph).

Plus, no one should forget that BMW notoriously underrates its engine power levels for one reason or another – it's not like they're keeping those figures as a surprise for the competition because everyone and their mother knows that the Bavarians talk about two ponies when there's at least three of them in the stable. Anyway, seeing the BMW M2 cheaper than a 2024 Nissan Z Nismo speaks volumes of the other factors we might need to take into account these days. That would be, instead of the rising inflation (which we all know and dread), the fact that automakers remain money-grabbing monsters, and they will use whatever reason to raise prices and fatten up the profits.

So, this time around, it's a lot harder for me to recommend the spectacular 2024 Nissan Z Nismo with 420 hp when the higher-powered BMW M2 is cheaper, even if not necessarily more beautiful. As such, my pick for a track day or quarter-mile dragstrip brawl would be the Bavarian steed on this occasion!
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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
Aurel Niculescu profile photo

Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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