Editorial : December 3, 2008
Some love it, Some hate it. I’m very “ehhhhh” on the subject. I think it’s the headlights for me.
As many of you know, the Nissan 370Z was unveiled about a week and a half ago at the LA Auto Show. The new body style was a big deal for Nissan and Z lovers alike, with lots of industry events and parties celebrating the car’s launch.
Appearance-wise, the 370Z has changed a bit. The new Nissan comes standard with 19″ lightweight Rays Engineering wheels and 14″ Brakes! Looking at it from the side, the 370Z definitely reveals it’s lineage from the 240Z’s of the ’70s. The new Z is shorter, over an inch wider, and almost 3 inches smaller from nose to tail, packing a shorter wheelbase as well. The rear track has been widened by 2.2 inches, which I’m sure translates into better handling.
I’m sure what everyone is mainly concerned about is the new performance. As evidenced by the name change from 350Z to 370Z, there’s now a 3.7 liter V6 under the hood which produces 332 horsepower and 270ft/lbs of torque. That’s up from 306hp and 268ft/lbs from the last generation VQ35HR.
The new motor utilizes 30% new internals and the 370Z also weighs 88lbs less. Power is sent through either a 7 speed automatic with paddle shifters or a 6 speed manual. A new feature for the 6 speed is a Synchrorev Match feature that will automatically blip the throttle on downshifts for a smooth changedown. It’s like automatic heel-toeing! 0-60 times are quoted from Car and Driver at 4.7-5.0 seconds.
Inside is arguably the most improved aspect of the 370Z. The A-pillar was minimized, the seats have stronger seat bolsters, and instrumentation is now bigger so it’s easier to see what’s going on in the car. Nissan also stepped up the game and now offers an “Intelligent Key” feature which means you no longer have to fumble around in your pockets for a key. Just walk up to the car, step in and go.
Other interior appointments include a highly stylish gauge cluster, center gauge pods, leather wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, an iPod interface, and an option for Nissan’s Navigation unit with real-time XM NavTraffic and 8 speaker Bose system.
All in all, I think I can look past the headlights and see what Nissan is doing here. They definitely stepped up their game on the New 370Z and I think it’s going to sell very well. It’s a great value considering starting price is only $29,000. With a bigger motor, stiffer chassis, nicer interior and a better weight distribution, I think that Nissan’s new offering is going to get bought quick.