The V6 employs Variable Valve Event and Lift Control--tech magic that makes sure the engine can make as much power as it can handle yet stay smooth and efficient--to provide much better performance than before without using any more fuel. Fuel economy ratings for both transmissions are 18 mpg city, 25 highway--higher on all counts than the previous 350Z. The 370Z has been tested to accelerate to 60 mph in less than five seconds.
Both transmissions also get features that help get more enjoyment out of the 370Z when driven hard. SynchroRev Match in the 6-speed manual automatically matches revs to the next gear to make shifts smooth, while the 7-speed automatic gets a comparable feature that matches revs to help reduce the jolt that's otherwise felt on a forced downshift. The automatic comes with steering-wheel paddle-shifters, but the shift lever can also be used.
Underneath, the 370Z has a configuration that's much like a sedan's, but tuned much more aggressively. The suspension uses double wishbones in front and a multi-link setup in back--all kept under close control with stabilizer bars and high-response shocks. Grip is tremendous and balanced thanks to standard 18-inch wheels with staggered-width summer performance tires. An optional Sport Package brings 19-inch RAYS forged alloy wheels and even wider tires, along with larger Nissan Sport Brakes, 4-piston front calipers, and a viscous limited-slip differential.
All 370Z models feature anti-lock brakes with brake assist, along with electronic stability control. Front seat-mounted side airbags and door-mounted side-curtain bags are also standard. A special design feature of the speed-sensitive power steering is that it will reduce vibrations and major shocks while still transmitting road feel to the driver.
The Roadster features a black-cloth convertible soft with a softer fabric inner liner that helps insulate the interior and reduce noise. Going up or down, the power top takes about 20 seconds and is operated by either of a couple convenient switches. When the top is up, it stows away under a hard tonneau cover. There's also a pop-up glass wind deflector between the fixed headrest bars; it serves to help reduce turbulence at high speed.
Touring models add a host of extras including heated-and-cooled leather power seats, a Bluetooth hands-free system, a garage door opener, aluminum pedals and an 8-speaker Bose audio system. Other than the Sport Package, a Navigation Package adds a hard-drive Music Box hard drive and USB interface.
Finally, there's one other limited-edition top-performance model that might warrant consideration for those looking for weekend track time. The NISMO 370Z Coupe includes race-inspired interior and exterior cues, plus an even firmer suspension and special 19-inch Yokohama Sport Y-rated performance tires.