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Edmonton Journal Review of the 370Z

Numbers all add up for new Nissan 370Z More power, lighter weight make this hotrod a success by any standard By David Booth December 19, 2008 Sports car dynamics, at

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Old 12-21-2008, 02:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Edmonton Journal Review of the 370Z

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Numbers all add up for new Nissan 370Z

More power, lighter weight make this hotrod a success by any standard

By David Booth December 19, 2008

Sports car dynamics, at least at first blush, are a simple case of Grade 3 mathematics. More power is always good. So is lighter weight.

Combine the two so that the power to weight ratio is superior to the previous model's and simple long division would seem to indicate that your hotrod will be quicker. If you can also simultaneously make the chassis stiffer, it might even handle better as well.

Given these criteria, then, Nissan's new 370Z must be considered a success.

Its new 3.7-litre V6 is 26 horsepower healthier (332 hp in all) than the old 350. It's also some 50 kilograms lighter, and the combination of the two almost ensures that the 370 will feel sportier than its predecessor. As well, Ian Forsyth, director of corporate product planning for Nissan Canada, says that thanks to numerous undercar stiffening elements, the new Z is stiffer (between 22 per cent and 30 per cent, depending on the criteria) in both torsional and bending stiffness.

Also, in a rare occurrence, the 370 is actually smaller than the 350 it replaces with a wheelbase 100 millimetres shorter (the track width, however, is up by 56 mm). And, in a final ode to performance, the engine has been lowered in the frame by 30 mm and the passenger hip point by 20. The combination, says Forsyth, lowers the 370's centre of gravity.

If the numbers are any indication, then the new 370Z has seen all its performance criteria enhanced.

Of course, junkyards are littered with the corpses of automobiles that were claimed by marketing mavens to be "improved" and "enhanced." Reality is often different. In the case of a sports car, there's nothing like a race track to separate the claimed from the reality.

The proof in the pudding in this case was Spring Mountain Motorsports park in Pahrump, Nev., where, even though there are mountains in the distance, the track itself is as flat as a board save for one giant gully the designers decided to pave through rather than fill in.

It is, however, as twisty as a snake slithering across a desert, most of its corners bending through 180 degrees or more. It poses little challenge to the Sport package-equipped 370 (with forged 19-inch wheels, Brembo brakes, P245/40R18 front and P275/35R19 rear sport radials).

As for the engine, it is undoubtedly more powerful, its horsepower not quite impressing as much as its torque, which, though only up two pound-feet at its peak, offers up 90 per cent of its 270 lb.-ft. all the way from 2,000 to 7,000 r.p.m. It's a miles-wide powerband that makes much rapid rowing of the six-speed manual superfluous (a seven-speed auto is also available).

But it is, in fact, said manual tranny that is the 370's biggest advancement, at least on the race track. Besides offering better action -- shorter, more precise throws -- the 370Z offers the world's first Downshift Rev Matching system for a manual transmission. A plethora of sensors in the rear wheels and gearbox precisely matches the engine revs to the next gear down so that each downshift --no matter how quickly executed or at what speed -- is absolutely smooth, all without the driver performing the traditional heal-and-toe pas de deux on the gas and brake pedals.

All that speed is, of course, appreciated, but performance was never the old 350Z's weakness. An interior that looked like it was designed in the dark and constructed in China was its main problem. There were no less than four different hues of silver-painted plastic inside the previous Z and, yes, they clashed. As well, there was virtually no rear cargo space. The interior was the reason I always counselled readers to opt for the better-accoutred if slightly slower Infiniti G35.

Nissan has done a much better job this time around. There is still a lot of silver-painted plastic, but it is of much better quality and uniform of hue.

There's a bunch of the now-trendy suede-like leather in the seats and door trim, and the majority of the plastic bits are soft to the touch. Nissan also makes much of the fact that, this being a sports car, the tachometer takes centre stage over the speedo. Both are well laid out.

However, the fuel gauge just to their left looks chintzy and the entire thing is surrounded by a plastic bit that is painted -- rather unsuccessfully to these eyes -- to look like milled aluminum. Other downsides inside are the second cupholder being so far to the rear of the centre console as to be all but unusable, and the power seats, comfortable as they are, don't have a single button tilt function so you can easily stow stuff behind them. The 370's trunk, however, is more useful than the 350's.

I don't think these small complaints will have all that much effect on the 370's popularity, however. Though Forsyth will not release the official manufacturer's list price yet, Nissan Canada is promising that the 370Z will start around $40,000, a far cry from the $49,948 that even the cheapest 350Z (which, to be fair, does come with the Sport package standard) now commands.

And that's a number you don't even need Grade 3 math to understand.
$40,000? That even seems high in CA conversion.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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na that seams about right for canada.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow! I know the conversion ration takes affect but it is just hard reading 40K for a base Z.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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50 for a base G
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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yeah it sucks my uncle lives in canada they bought a used honda accord for almost the same price we got our brand new 08 Civic EX,
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes, we Canadians get it right in the jewels when it comes to new vehicle MSRP pricing and options selection.

For example only the leathered seat, touring model is the only model available in Canada with the options of sport package and/or navigation. We don't get to choose the cheaper priced base model, as it's N/A, not available, as in you want what??, or are you kidding me?, there are no cloth seats available for the luxurious sport Z ( you laugh ...... I've actually heard this from a Canadian Nissan salesperson!)

Another thing is that the cost difference between dealer invoice price and MSRP is HUGE ........ at least $5,000 or in some cases more!
Unfortunately getting the stealership to deal up from invoice pricing is very difficult and most stealers want to deal from the MSRP price.

I swear, I turn purple, holding my breath, when a Nissan salesperson chastises me because I've purchase something in the USA, instead of Canada. I pity the poor salesperson when I finally explode
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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**First Drive: 2009 Nissan 370Z --- Canadian Reviewer**
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Old 12-22-2008, 12:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh weird. Looks like they just changed out the listing for the paper/site. I take no blame. I did a title search.
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Old 12-22-2008, 01:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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that's what CanWest does, just changes the title for each local newspaper...lol
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
all without the driver performing the traditional heal-and-toe pas de deux on the gas and brake pedals.
Heal and toe? Was the writer's foot broken or something?
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Zat_Zuma View Post
Yes, we Canadians get it right in the jewels when it comes to new vehicle MSRP pricing and options selection.

I notice you are from Alberta. I guess Albertans cringed at the thought of Earth Day yesterday as they rape the land around Ft. McMurray.

JUST KIDDING !!

I use to work out of YellowKnife and spent alot of time in Edmonton and Calgary.....

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Good luck on your car. Price is about right but there is room to negotiate down on that for sure.
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Old 04-23-2009, 02:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm starting to think all of these reviewers simply read someone Else's review and reworded it. They always mention the Synrcho matching downshifts but never mention the up shifts...
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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$40,000? That even seems high in CA conversion.
You forget the 10% rule here in Canada. We are only ten percent of the USA market in size and sales. So our prices not only reflect the exchange rate (which is pretty good right now), but our small stature. We're pretty much used to it (getting screwed, that is).

And what the hell is that above my post?
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Brembo brakes? I don't think so.

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