Nissan 370Z : 7 Speed with GT-R's dual-clutch
According to companyís design chief, Shiro Nakamura the 370Z will be
more aggressive than the 350Z with more muscular panel surfaces.
The essential proportions of the Z remain intact, as does the curved
roof and the distinctive vertical door handles. Most surprising is the
news that the new Z-car sits on a wheelbase shorter than the 2650mm of
the outgoing car, taking advantage of the fact that it remains a
The new carís name, 370Z, signifies the enlargement of the V6 engineís
capacity to 3.7 liters. In this form it produces 326bhp when installed
in the US-market Infiniti G37 coupť, to which the Z is closely related.
Thatís a useful improvement on the 309bhp of the current 350Z, and
torque increases slightly from the 264lb ft of todayís car to 270lb ft
Most probably the car will come with a six-speed manual gearbox, as
before, and the option of a seven-speed automatic with paddle-shift
The coupť will undoubtedly be followed by a roadster version, as before,
but a potential new addition could be a diesel, once production of the
V6 oil-burner that the company is developing comes on stream.
Even a diesel version is possible as Audi has successfully introduced TT
TDI in Europe. Diesel version should help Nissan to compete with Audi.
Sounds strange, but diesel engines can be found on almost all car types
already. We don't have supercars yet that are powered by a diesel
engine, but that is just a matter of timeÖ
The 370Z will be unveiled this November at the Los Angeles motor show
and go on sale in the UK in the first half of 2009 as a 2010 model.
The lighter and more powerful Nissan 370Z coupe and roadster could take
its first formal bows in January at the 2009 North American
International Auto Show prior to going on sale in the fall of 2009.
That is not to say Nissan canít jump the gun and opt to unveil the new
sports car this November at the 2008 L.A. auto show. Either way, the car
is being designed as a formidable placeholder below the hot Nissan GT-R,
while still leaving room for an affordable front-wheel-drive car
positioned below the Z.
The big news, as evidenced by the name change from 350Z to 370Z, is the
3.7-liter V-6 that goes under the hood. The bigger engine, which
produces 330 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque in the Infiniti
G37, will power a new Z that is lighter than the one it replacesóa
perfect recipe for fun. Icing on the cake is speculation it may borrow
the seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission from the GT-R.
ďBoth performance and design are much more sporty,Ē is how Shiro
Nakamura, Nissan senior vice president and chief creative officer,
describes the 2010 370Z for us. The design of the second-generation
roadster represents a ďsuper evolution,Ē the design chief says in a
recent interview. The expectation is that the new Z is wider and
While the original Z rode on Nissanís FM (for front midship) platform,
the 2010 370Z rides on the new E platform that encompasses former FM
vehicles as well as some international vehicles on the FR-L
architecture, which denotes ďFront-engine, Rear-drive, and LargeĒóall
part of Nissanís platform consolidation efforts. The 370Z will share the
E platform with much of the Infiniti lineup including the FX, EX, M, and
G coupe and sedan.
Meanwhile, Nissan officials say they still are interested in a more
entry-level, small, front-wheel-drive sports car for the brand, but not
immediately. The automaker does not want to take the spotlight away from
the launch of the new Z and is dealing with a full portfolio right now,
says Larry Dominique, Nissan North America vice president in charge of
product planning and strategy. But something that takes cues from the
Nissan Urge conceptóit would compete with the Mazda MX-5 Miata, Pontiac
Solstice, and Saturn Skyóis expected in a few years.
Car and Driver
Is it real? Yes, itís a sixth-generation redesign, with two models for
the taking, the Z and the Z Touring.
What they said: The Z-car is the ďgreatest performance value in the
world,Ē said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager of the
Nissan division. But the ďmost powerful Z everĒ hype was followed (all
too closely) by, ďIn these trying times, we see a need to return to our
roots,Ē with a pitch for the 34-mile-a-gallon, $9,990 Versa.
What they didnít say: A few words ó green, electric, hybrid and
environment ó were unmentionables at the unveiling, although Carlos
Ghosn, chief executive of Nissan, handled those in his morning keynote
address. But performance talk was refreshing on the show floor; it
almost seems that uttering ďsports carĒ and ďneed for speedĒ at the
jolly green giant LA Auto Show is like shouting fire in a crowded
theater. Which is actually appropriate, since the Z is just as hot.
What makes it tick? The lighter ó can you imagine? ó Z will have a new
3.7-liter V-6 that makes 332 horses, up 26 from the previous engine. Two
transmissions were also introduced, the premiere of the SynchroRev Match
manual gearbox, which adjusts engine speed to the speed of the next gear
position for smooth shifts, and a seven-speed automatic.
How much, how soon? Starting at $29,930, with the coupe on sale in
January and a roadster in the 2010 model year.
Howís it look? Blink, and you may not notice the change from generation
five. But blink again and you may think sexy GT-R. Close your eyes
entirely if you canít stand the sight of a good time ahead.