There’s a new Ford Mustang but it won’t go on sale until the summer of next year. Until that happens, the soon-to-be-retired Mustang remains the company’s representative in the sports car segment. In the same league, Nissan has a strong new contender in the form of the overhauled Nissan Z. Which one of the two vehicles is quicker? Let’s find out.

If you only read forums and social media, you’ll probably think everyone buys a sports car with a manual transmission these days. That’s not true, however, as many customers opt for a two-pedal configuration as it is easier to live with on a daily basis and is sometimes faster on the track. The two vehicles featured in this drag race video are both equipped with an automatic gearbox – and both are better than you would expect. Let’s see the numbers.

Gallery: 2023 Nissan Z Review

The Mustang is in GT trim, which means there’s a 5.0-litre naturally aspirated engine under the bonnet. It generates 460 bhp (338 kilowatts) and 420 pound-feet (569 Newton-metres) of torque, sent to the rear wheels through a 10-speed automatic. The curb weight of the tested machine is 3,752 pounds (1,702 kilograms). It’s the heavier and more powerful of the two cars.

Against it, the Nissan Z puts to work its 3.0-litre turbo V6 mill with 400 bhp (294 kW) and 350 lb-ft (475 lb-ft) of torque. There’s a nine-speed automatic transmission mated to the engine, delivering the power to the rear wheels. The Nissan Z weighs 3,550 lbs (1,610 kg).

Honestly, while very different in concept, these two cars have very similar performance. The video shows us three races with a standing start and all three have the same winner, though. There are also two rolling-start races, which seem to be a little more interesting but have the outcome again. Basically, it’s a dominant performance from one of these two cars. Which one? The answer is in the video at the top of this page.