Back in 2002, on a whim, my father bought the recently re-introduced Nissan 350Z for the simple reason that he loved the way the car looked. He then proceeded to rarely drive it because it was loud, rough, and generally lacking in refinement, and sold it after only a year and a half. I haven’t driven a Z since. Nissan has reportedly worked to smooth over the car’s rough edges, most notably with a redesign for the 2009 model year. So another look seemed in order. Read More >
The “Z-car” has been with us now for forty years, but let’s be honest: most of those years were fairly disappointing. The original 240Z was a fabulous car that richly deserves its place in history, and the 1990 300ZX Turbo was a singular statement of high-speed style, but the story of the Z is too often a story of bloat, questionable visuals, and dismal V-6 engines. So it was with the 2003 350Z. As with Volkswagen’s New Beetle, adapting show-car style to an oversized platform-variant production model took a horrible aesthetic toll. The interior was dismal and the driving experience was too clearly that of a short-wheelbase G35. A ten-minute test drive six years ago was all I needed to cross the porky Zed off my personal list permanently, and not even the rather stunning-looking Nismo run-out model was sufficient incentive to change my position on the matter.
Figuring many TTAC readers would be interested, I input pricing for the new 370Z into TrueDelta’s pricing database the day it was released. Since TTAC licenses this information, this site is about the only place you can already configure the new, 332-horsepower 370Z. Media reports suggest that the new car handles better and has a nicer interior than the less compact, slightly heavier 350Z. Compared to the 2008, the base price is up $1,425, to $30,625 (the $30,000 figure you’ll read elsewhere ingores destination). BUT the new car has airbags, stability control, and a few other features as additional standard equipment. Adjust for these, and the 2009 is actually priced a bit lower than the 2008. The more agile Mazda RX-8 runs about $3,500 less, but no doubt most people will opt for the much more powerful Nissan when choosing between these cars. When both cars are loaded up, the related Infiniti G37 coupe runs about $3,800 more than the 370Z. But adjust for the Infiniti’s additional content (sunroof, additional power seat adjustments, etc.) and the difference is close to zero.
[Michael Karesh's TrueDelta.com is a TTAC info provider]
Question: How do you age a car ten years in seven? Answer: release the world beating GT-R. Sure, cars have advanced considerably since the 350Z debuted in 2002, but after riding around in one a coupe months back the truth became self-evident: this dog no longer hunts. In fact, it felt like a 4th Gen Camaro — all engine and odd squeaks. No one saw the writing on the wall as clearly as Nissan. Hence the brand spanking nouveau 370Z. But is it any good?
Jonny Lieberman just belled me from Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch outside of Sin City. JL’s flogging the new 370Z on Nissan’s nickel, putting the transplant’s smaller, faster coupe through the corners on our behalf (quel sacrifice!). The TTAC scribe will be scribing his review soon, but initial impressions are… good. “It’s a good car,” Jonny told me with uncharacteristic reserve. “Neutral. Nice.” Tell me more, tell me more, did the synchro revs match? “Around town, it’s fine. But let’s say you’re charging down a straight in third gear, at about 7000 rpm. Red line’s at 7500 rpm, right?” “Right!” So you’re braking hard and you want a lower gear. As it shifts, the tranny blips the throttle. That sucks.” “Yeah I hate it when that happens.” Anyway, even though JL believes Nissan’s assertion that their updated roadster is as fast around a track as Porsche’s hardtop two-seater, a Cayman killer the new Z ain’t. “It’s probably more aimed at the Mustang GT. Against that it’s a Hell of a lot more neutral in the corners.” Safe! Not that Mr. L has that at the top of his priority list. What does linger there will soon be revealed….
After Carlos Ghosn spent an hour blowing a green smoke screen at his keynote address about the future of the auto industry, Nissan released the new 2009 370z, the most powerful Z car so far. With 332hp going to the rear wheels and a new seven-speed automatic transmission, Nissan one-upped themselves with a manual transmission that rev matches for you. With new sheetmetal that could have been penned by Porsche, and an interior that goes to “Infiniti” (but not beyond), the new Z is the poor man’s, uh, Porsche. The coupe starts at $30k. And what a sound it makes…
Ahead of the LA Auto Show, which is coming up in a few weeks, Nissan has gone ahead and released images of the 370Z. This is phase 3 in a prolonged effort to give the car about a month of buzz before its official reveal (phase 1 was intentional spy shots and video, phase 2 being the Edmunds pretendo-leako). No specs from Nissan yet, though 330 horsepower or north is a good bet.
Autocar UK has the latest details and a rendering of Nissan's updated 370Z sports coupe. The pic reveals an gently evolved version of the current Nissan offering. The Z's proportions, curved roofline and vertical door handles remain virtually unchanged. Other than new LED headlights, you'd be hard-pressed to tell elder and younger Zs apart. From what we can tell, a better-handling shortened wheelbase is the only major cosmetic change. The new sports car's 3.7-liter V6 will make 326hp, up from the 309hp offered by the outgoing 3.5-liter mill. Autocar speculates that the Z's new powerplant will sing a slightly more grunty tune than the G37's engine, thanks to variable valve lift and timing. Expect six-speed manual and seven-speed paddle-equipped automatic transmissions, as well as a welcome diminution of interior and road noise. Autocar suggests a diesel version, but they're going to pull the other one (it has bells on it).