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Motor Trend: Arthur St. Antoine's 2nd take on the Z34

My Take On the 2009 Nissan 370Z Posted Today 02:45 PM by Arthur St. Antoine Drove the new Z home the other night, then took a morning spin across Mulholland

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Old 11-26-2008, 07:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Motor Trend: Arthur St. Antoine's 2nd take on the Z34


Quote:
My Take On the 2009 Nissan 370Z
Posted Today 02:45 PM by Arthur St. Antoine



Drove the new Z home the other night, then took a morning spin across Mulholland Drive. My take? I like it. The car rubs me the right way. Its not perfect, but Nissan has nicely sharpened-up its famous sports two-door -- and greatly enhanced its flight deck.


By now most of you have undoubtedly read fellow MTer Ron Kiinos first test. At the track, the new Nissan blazed through our performance trials: 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, the quarter in 13.3 at 105.7 mph, maximum lateral grip a face-distorting 0.99 g. So, yes, the numbers are there.

What the stats dont reveal, though, is how the Z has moved upscale. The new cockpit is gorgeous, with rich-looking soft-touch materials and mostly astute ergonomics. Nissans navigation system (optional) is one of the best on the market, both intuitive to set up and easy to interpret. The seats are terrific, proffering deep bolsters and trimmed in a grippy, good-looking cloth (leather is available). Big thumbs-up to Nissans designers for getting the seat controls right, too: fore-aft and seatback recline are power-controlled, while seat-cushion angles are manually configurable via two large, well-placed rotary knobs. As before, the primary gauges move up or down with the steering wheel (though the wheel doesnt telescope), ensuring that the dials are always easily visible.
2009 Nissan 370Z cockpit

I noted only a couple of minor interior quibbles. The temp and fuel-quantity displays on the left of the dash are a row of orange LEDs that wash out in bright sunlight (you have to use the shadow of your hand to read them). And as far as I can tell, if you want to connect the available iPod interface cord in the center console, you cant re-insert the plastic cupholder tray that normally fits there. Nor is there any convenient place to stow the tray when its removed. Apparently, you cannot enjoy your iPod and a chai soy latte, too (actually, is that ever possible?).

My dash across Mulholland confirmed the Zs massive grip levels and revealed its excellent steering feel. I also got to play with the cars innovative "SynchroRev Match" feature, which blips the throttle automatically whenever you move the gear lever for a downshift. If youre accustomed to doing your own heel-and-toe downshifting, as I am, it takes a moment or two to break yourself of the habit of moving your right foot while braking for a manual throttle blip. Instead, just keep your foot firmly on the brakes and let SynchroRev Match make you look like Lewis Hamilton. The system works remarkably well, though if you insist on being a shifting purist you can simply turn it off.
2009 Nissan 370Z

The updated VQ six pulls really hard to its 7500-rpm redline, though theres enough torque on tap (270 pound-feet) to keep the boil on even at lower revs. Yet Nissan still has some work to do on engine refinement; at higher revs, the exhaust gets coarse and you will feel some tingles through the pedals and wheel. Colleague Angus MacKenzie describes the Zs NVH as just awful, but I wouldnt go that far. True, this is no syrupy BMW six under the hood, but I didnt mind the engine rasp when gunning hard. Adds a little raw flavor to the driving experience. And at cruise the Z is fine.

Im impressed by the Zs solidity. The structure hangs tough in hard corners and remains composed over rough roads. And while the rear tires were clearly fighting to stay planted in every corner -- I could see the traction/stability dash warning firing away -- the electronics didnt intrude. And I was driving the Touring model. With Sport Package, the Z undoubtedly feels even edgier.


At a base sticker of $30,625 and an as-tested price of about $34K, the Z returns a whole lot of curvaceousness and kick for the dollar. Itll be a strong player in a class including the new Camaro, Mustang, and Solstice Coupe -- can you say comparo test?

Stay tuned. And have a great Thanksgiving.
http://image.motortrend.com/f/editor...issan-370z.jpg
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice read, a comparison should be interesting between the mentioned cars.

Sounds like all the rawness of the Z that we all love is still there but with a splash of civility.
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice read, a comparison should be interesting between the mentioned cars.
Yeh, and we can shut those overly political Camaro guys up!
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cstr_Cali View Post
Yeh, and we can shut those overly political Camaro guys up!
As good of an idea as that sounds, it would never happen. I think some of the die hard Camaro people hate the Z more than the Mustang simply because it's built in Japan.

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Old 11-27-2008, 05:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What's up guys I'm new here. Im up in the air right now when it comes to the Z and the 'Maro. I love the new Z cuz it's just gorgeous all the way around in my opinion but I just don't like the orange/red illumination. I feel the same about the 'Maro but I kno the Z gonna handle better. I love the Z cuz you get the best of both worlds IMO. You get the power and the handling.
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Old 11-27-2008, 05:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Go for the Z. You get to keep your manhood and get great fuel economy at the same time. The Camaro? Not so much; you're stuck with either the sure-to-be gas hog SS or the girly/girly-mans V6 (even if it has 300hp it looks chick and it weighs a ton). The 370Z is the quintessential 21st century affordable but ultra sexy high performance sports-car.
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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cant wait to do a test drive.
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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, indeed!
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstr_Cali View Post
Go for the Z. You get to keep your manhood and get great fuel economy at the same time. The Camaro? Not so much; you're stuck with either the sure-to-be gas hog SS or the girly/girly-mans V6 (even if it has 300hp it looks chick and it weighs a ton). The 370Z is the quintessential 21st century affordable but ultra sexy high performance sports-car.
The SS gets about 25 MPG on the highway...certainly not bad and just shy of the Z by a tick.

I'm indifferent on the Camaro...it's a neat car, but that's about it. Performance-wise, it has the 370Z beat hands down in straight-line acceleration or on a road-course. However, it's not a sports-car, which the Z is in the purest sense. It's a 3900 lb. cruiser with a great engine and not much else in terms of dynamics.
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Old 09-06-2009, 06:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Actually the SS gets 24 MPG on the highway as per EPA ratings. That's not "just shy of the Z by a tick."
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Old 09-06-2009, 06:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JoeD View Post
The SS gets about 25 MPG on the highway...certainly not bad and just shy of the Z by a tick.

I'm indifferent on the Camaro...it's a neat car, but that's about it. Performance-wise, it has the 370Z beat hands down in straight-line acceleration or on a road-course. However, it's not a sports-car, which the Z is in the purest sense. It's a 3900 lb. cruiser with a great engine and not much else in terms of dynamics.
The camaro will barely take the Z in a straight line. It certainly wouldn't beat the Z in any road course/track situation.
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 370Z_Fan View Post
Actually the SS gets 24 MPG on the highway as per EPA ratings. That's not "just shy of the Z by a tick."
Wow, please excuse me...I missed the rating by a whole 1 MPG.

In fact, after a quick check, it appears as the SS equipped with the auto gets an EPA-estimated 25 MPG highway. Compared to the 370Z's 26, I'd say it's close enough not to warrant a comment.

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Originally Posted by spearfish25 View Post
The camaro will barely take the Z in a straight line. It certainly wouldn't beat the Z in any road course/track situation.
High-12s @ 110+ MPH is barely faster than a Z? SSs have at least 4 MPH advantage over the Z and are 4.5-seconds quicker from 0-140 MPH. That's significant. Also, as per a recent Motor Trend test on Laguna Seca, the SS circled the track a whole 0.8-seconds quicker than the Nismo 370Z with a professional driver behind the wheel. Mind you, Laguna is not even considered a high-speed track, so the Camaro's straight-line advantage hardly comes into play.

Hate to magazine-race, but please don't be in denial.
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