New & Used Nissan 370Z: In Depth
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The Nissan 370Z is available as either a coupe or convertible—both of which have rear-wheel drive. With its history starting in 1969 with the Datsun 240Z, the 370Z offers a level of sportiness that few others can match.See our 2014 Nissan 370Z review for pricing with options, specifications, and gas mileage ratings
Those first Z coupes were powered by in-line six-cylinder engines, but by the time Datsun had become Nissan and the Z had entered its third generation in 1984, the sportscar had made the switch to V-6s. The first such unit, a 3.0-liter six rated at up to 300 horsepower in the 300ZX TT (twin turbo), was fitted to North American Z-car sales until the car was discontinued in 1996.
After seven years dormant, the Z returned in the form of the 350Z. Packing a 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 287 horsepower (eventually up-rated to 306 horsepower by the end of the model run), the new 350Z was hailed as a bargain for the performance and handling it offered, bridging the gap between compact sports cars and more full-sized grand touring sports coupes, while starting at less than $30,000. During its six-year model run, the 350Z brought numerous awards and general recognition from the press to Nissan.
The Nissan 370Z, introduced in 2009, carried that rekindled Z-car enthusiasm forward, with a slightly larger, more power 332-hp 3.7-liter V-6 engine in a slightly shorter, lighter new body. While the exterior design of the 370Z is more futuristic and striking than the more classically-proportioned yet modern 350Z, the cabin is where the bulk of the improvements over the previous Z-car came. Better materials, more modern and intricate design, and greater creature comfort helped transform the 370Z into the grand tourer the 350Z didn't quite manage to be.
Despite the improvement in accommodations, the 370Z didn't lose its performance edge, its slightly lighter weight helping to maintain agility, and the higher-output engine generating impressive acceleration. An innovative automatic rev-matching solution for the six-speed manual transmission bridged the gap between the convenience of a dual-clutch automatic and the purity and engagement of a traditional manual. A seven-speed automatic transmission was also offered.
Introduced initially as a coupe, the 370Z also spawned a high-performance, more track-day-ready edition known as the NISMO 370Z. The NISMO 370Z increased output to 350 hp, stiffened the suspension, upgraded the brakes, and added a more aggressive aerodynamics and styling package.
In 2010, the 370Z Roadster was added to the fold, and unlike the somewhat awkward-looking 350Z Roadster, the 370Z was designed from the ground-up to look equally good in coupe or soft-top forms. The power-folding soft convertible top stows or closes in just 20 seconds, hiding under a hard tonneau cover when open-top driving is desired.
A number of special-editions and anniversary specials of the 370Z have been released as well, offering unique appearances and limited-edition status.
The 2013 Nissan 370Z carries forward largely unchanged from the previous model year, including Coupe, Roadster, and NISMO variants. Pricing now places the 2013 370Z in the $33,000 to $43,000 range, putting the upper end of the range in competition with some more luxurious--but slightly less sporty--alternatives, in addition to its typical sports car set.