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Nissan 370Z: More Power, Less Weight

Motoring Channel Staff - 7/May/2009

Nissan 370Z
Nissan 370Z

Nissan 370Z
One of the big hopes of 350Z owners is that
the interior uses higher quality materials

Nissan 370Z
With 245kW of power, the Nissan
370Z will be a stronger performer

Nissan 370Z
The new body shape is "respectful but not retro"

Melbourne, Australia  The iconic Zed car has returned to Australia with a new look, a more powerful engine and even more advanced chassis.

On sale this month, Nissan has priced the 370Z from $67,990, but unlike previously where there two models, there is only one grade now. Full pricing is as follows:

Nissan 370Z (6-speed man): $67,990
Nissan 370Z (7-speed auto): $70,990

The launch of the 370Z in Australia coincides with the Z sports car's 40th birthday. The 240Z was unveiled in Tokyo in 1969 and its essence lives on in the 2-seater 370Z.

Powered by a 3.7-litre V6 engine, replacing the previous 3.5-litre bent six, the 370Z is faster than its predecessor and outputs more power and torque. 

Engine power has risen from 230 to 245 kilowatts and torque rises from 358 to 363 Newton metres, all of which is transferred to the wide rear wheels.

Hidden underneath the hood is the VQ37VHR V6 engine 'that delivers an unashamedly macho 245kW power at 7000rpm and 363Nm torque at 5200rpm' explains Nissan.

While the engine is bigger and more powerful, Nissan has improved fuel efficiency with the manual version, which uses 1.2L/100km less fuel per 100km compared to the 350Z.

The carbon fibre composite prop shaft that connects the gearbox to the rear axle returns, while the car is wider than before, by 15mm at the front and 55mm at the rear axle.

Overall the new 370Z is about 15kg lighter than the 350Z, thanks to things like aluminium hood, doors and tailgate, which save around 32kg.

More aluminium components in the suspension also help reduce weight.

Two gearboxes are offered. There's a 6-speed manual and a new 7-speed automatic transmission that comes with steering wheel mounted magnesium paddle shifters.

Nissan explains that both gearboxes come with the new and unique SynchroRev Match - the world's first fully synchronised shift rev control system, allowing perfectly smooth up and down shifts every time. However "heel and toe" purists will be pleased to know that the system can be turned off on the manual transmission 370Zs.

There's even a downshift rev matching (DRM) feature exclusive to the 7-speed auto, which delivers rapid downshifts and a matching 'blips' of the throttle when used in paddle shift tiptronic mode.

One of the few issues with the modern Zed car appears to have been addressed.

The interior of the Nissan 350Z was widely criticised for its poor quality plastics and el cheapo feel, but the 370Z appears to have remedied this with a sharper, more luxurious cabin befitting a car that costs $70,000.

There are more luxury features in the Nissan 370Z, a larger luggage area and increased cockpit storage. Nissan claims the load area can now swallow two golf bags with the deletion of the previous stabilizer strut which is replaced by a luggage partition beam.

The seats have been upgraded for more comfort and support with improved torso bolsters and a special non-slip cloth insert that is surrounded by plush, black leather.

Sports cars nuts will be pleased to hear that the visceral experience has been improved by mounting the seats 10mm closer to the ground as well.

Nissan says the new body is tauter, sharper-looking and is 100mm shorter in wheelbase to bring the rear driving wheels closer to the driver. This shorter wheelbase improves the car's centre of gravity, potentially improving its driving dynamics.

New look 18-inch wheels are covered by flared arches and high-performance brakes will be back in use to decelerate the car.

The photos show the Nissan 370Z features an updated design that is more evocative of classic Zed cars than the 350Z.

As Feann Torr explained when the 370Z first broke cover in late 2008, "...Nissan's design gurus wanted to take the car to a new place, a more retro place.

"The rear end and especially the way the roof line tapers off is reminiscent of the classic 1970s Datsun/Nissan 240Z, and the exaggerated wheel arches - particularly at the rear - give the new Nissan 370Z a quasi muscle car aesthetic.

"Proportionally, the new 370Z is spot on. The long bonnet, the wider rear track, the small greenhouse - it all adds up to a purposeful, sporty design that is unmistakably Zed," said Torr.

With more power and less weight, the Nissan 370Z is expected to be an more focussed drivers car than the 350Z, and with some improvements in interior fitout, it should be a more well-rounded product.

Related Links:
Nissan 370Z (2009)
Nissan 350Z (2007 Road Test)
Nissan 350Z (2005 Road Test)
- Nissan 350Z (2003 Road Test)
Nissan 350Z Nismo Type 380RS (2008)
Nissan GT-R SpecV (2009)
Nissan GT-R (2009)
Nissan X-Trail (Road Test)
Nissan Micra (Road Test)
Nissan Silvia/200SX (2010)
- Nissan Maxima (Road Test)
- Nissan Tiida (Road Test)

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