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MotorTrend First Test: 2009 Nissan 370Z test drive 4.7 sec 0 to 60 11.25.08

Putting the Sting Back in the Z -- 0 to 60 In 4.7 sec. and the Quarter Mile (1/4 mile) in 13.3 sec. at 105.7 MPH When we evaluate a

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Old 11-25-2008, 09:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default MotorTrend First Test: 2009 Nissan 370Z test drive 4.7 sec 0 to 60 11.25.08

Putting the Sting Back in the Z -- 0 to 60 In 4.7 sec. and the Quarter Mile (1/4 mile) in 13.3 sec. at 105.7 MPH



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When we evaluate a group of cars at the test track, it's often the case that we inadvertently get to compare dissimilar vehicles, be it contrasting type (sports car versus SUV), configuration (coupe versus sedan), engine (V-6 versus V-12), or simply price point. Side by side, these unrelated vehicles can often shed light on one another at revealing angles, making some cars shine and others lose luster. As luck would have it, the day we recorded numbers on the all-new Nissan 370Z was the same day we conducted our very first test of the Aston Martin DBS. Surely the DBS would embarrass the Z, no?

Looking at the two, in person or on paper, they do share apparent similarities. Each is a front-engine, rear-drive sports car offering seating for two adults and a low-slung stance a mere hand's width off the ground. Yet, the idea that a $34,000 Z would be a match for a $278,000 Aston, much less outperform it in some respects, never crossed our minds, especially considering the Brit has six cylinders and 178 horsepower on the Nissan. Plus, the DBS is the Aston Martin, the flagship of the brand, not to mention James Bond's transporter. And the Z? Sure, it's Nissan's iconic nameplate, but it's more for those working nine to five than it is for 007. But like Rocky Balboa's left hook, a blue-collar punch can pack a potent sting.



The 510-horsepower V-12 DBS certainly is daunting. Peruse the spec panel and there's no denying its imposing credentials: 0-to-60 in 4.2 seconds, quarter mile in 12.6 at 112.3 mph, lateral acceleration of 0.96 g, and 60-to-0 in 106 feet. In fact, all those figures are superior to those of the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. As we said, "It's the quickest, stickiest, and shortest-stopping Aston Martin we've ever tested." But is it quicker than the new 370Z? Well, yes.

Locked and loaded with a 332-horsepower, 3.7-liter VQ37VHR V-6 and unique "SynchroRev Match" six-speed manual, which blips the throttle on downshifts without a heel-toe maneuver, the Z rips to 60 in just 4.7 ticks on its way to a quarter-mile run of 13.3 at 105.7. While not an equal to the DBS, the 370Z is speedier than the racebred 306-horse. 3.5-liter Nismo 350Z we tested in 2007, which ran 4.9 and 13.5 at 103.9, respectively, thus making the 370 the quickest production Z we've ever tested. Further, the 370Z does match the Aston' in braking (106 feet) and even manages to exceed it in lateral acceleration, posting a Rubber Cement score of 0.99 g. This also makes the 370 the stickiest Z we've ever tested. (Alas, it's not the shortest-stopping Z, as the Nismo recorded 60 to 0 in 103 feet.)




So what's the 370Z's secret? Simply put: Nissan turned to the tried-and-true sports-car formula of cutting weight, reducing size, and adding power. The Z diet from 350 to 370 included hacking 3.9 inches from the wheelbase, 2.7 inches from the overall length, and 0.3 inch from the height as well as replacing numerous steel pieces, namely, the doors, rear hatch, front suspension cradle, and hood reinforcements, with parts made from lighter aluminum. Nissan even managed to trim mass from the fuel tank and audio and exhaust systems. The net weight reduction, according to Nissan, is around 88 pounds, depending on trim, although our scales indicate the 370Z with the optional Sport Package (viscous limited-slip differential, 19-inch forged Rays wheels, Bridgestone tires, Akebono brakes, SynchroRev Match, front and rear spoilers, 0.29 Cd) weighs 12 pounds more than the Nismo 350Z. That said, our tester does represent enhanced equipment, i.e., larger (and heavier) tires and brakes, not to mention the more powerful 3.7-liter V-6, which, according to Z project manager Peter Bedrosian, "packs an additional 42 pounds compared with the 3.5-liter."



Nonetheless, given the 370's superior acceleration and handling, we'll take the stouter 3.7 and any negligible weight gain, especially considering the new Z's stiffer structure (up 22 percent in rear torsion and 30 percent in front torsion and rear vertical bending) and fiercer facade, whose cantilevered roof, "barbed" head- and taillamps, and 240Z-like upswept beltline give the 370 a tighter, sexier shape. More important, the 370's structural and visual enhancements only complement its stellar driving dynamics. Its organic steering is a model of linearity and responsiveness. Its brakes, with a variable-ratio pedal, are stout and easy to modulate, whether decelerating gently for a red light or aggressively for a hairpin. Its grip is immense, rendering instant turn-in and near-absent understeer. The most alluring aspect of the new Z is the sense it imparts: It feels sharp, direct, and balanced, a well-honed santoku knife to the 350Z's blunter and bulkier cleaver.



Naturally, there are a few characteristics of the new Z with which we're not entirely enamored. The VQ engine, while more powerful and polished than its predecessor, still exhibits a coarseness near redline. Further, that coarseness rears its unwelcome head in the gearbox and pedals, transmitting a slight vibration to your hands and feet when firing off high-rpm shifts. One remedy, however, is to opt for the new seven-speed automatic with paddles shifters and a downshift rev-matching system. We've sampled this transmission in the Infiniti G37 S, and it's one of the sportiest and smoothest slushboxes around. Better yet, it achieves the same fuel economy-18 city/26 highway-as the manual.



One aspect of the 370 we can't harp on is the interior, which Nissan has upgraded with finer materials (read: less hard plastic), bigger gauges, a race-style oval steering wheel, a convenient glovebox (the poorly placed one between the 350Z's seats has been laid to rest), and a useable cargo area (Nissan inverted the rear strut tower brace that denied access to large suitcases in the 350Z's hold). For a grander environment, the upscale 370Z Touring trim adds leather, Bluetooth, and Bose audio. Both the standard Z and the Touring can be equipped with the Sport Package, but only the Touring is available with navigation.



Pricing? As this goes to press, Nissan has announced only a base price, which, at $30,625, represents a hike of $800 next to a comparably equipped 350Z with side and curtain airbags. In view of its enhanced power and handling, slick SynchroRev Match feature, and chic duds inside and out, the 370Z epitomizes a sports-car steal. To its competitors-heck, even the DBS-that's gotta sting.
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Source: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...est/index.html
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sweet Jesus!!! 4.7 seconds 0 to 60??

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Old 11-26-2008, 05:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Im leaning more towards the edmunds review of 5.1.
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Old 11-26-2008, 08:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Im leaning more towards the edmunds review of 5.1.
C'mon, 5.1 is what the fatass Mustang GT gets (new one). 4.7 sounds bang on to me.

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Old 11-26-2008, 09:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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C'mon, 5.1 is what the fatass Mustang GT gets (new one). 4.7 sounds band on to me.
True but lets keep in mind it'll be really hard for any of us to achieve that run. They basically beat the crap out of the car since a. It's not their car and b. They are told by Nissan to push the car to it's ultimate limit (gotta love their job huh!). But an average Joe like you and me, would never push their car to that limit. They probably had to do at least 10+ very hard launches to get that number. Even though the number is impressive and good for their (Nissan) sale, 5.1 is bit more realistic.
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Old 11-27-2008, 02:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Umm, I Dont know about that. Im sure I could get a pretty fast time close to that right away. Never had any problem launching any cars.... Would I do it? yes, I definitely dont baby my cars
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Old 11-27-2008, 02:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Umm, I Dont know about that. Im sure I could get a pretty fast time close to that right away. Never had any problem launching any cars.... Would I do it? yes, I definitely dont baby my cars
I guess I gotta make a section called "370Z 1/4 mile". Hope to see you at the track soon
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Does it matter if it's 4.7 or 5.1? Either way, it's friggin fast. I wonder if the 7spd AT performs the same.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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jaw breaker..... 4.7 n' 13.3.... ffffffffffffffffffffffffffast.
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Old 11-27-2008, 09:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Does it matter if it's 4.7 or 5.1? Either way, it's friggin fast. I wonder if the 7spd AT performs the same.
Yes, it does matter a lot. 4 tenths to 60 is a huge difference.
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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True but lets keep in mind it'll be really hard for any of us to achieve that run. They basically beat the crap out of the car since a. It's not their car and b. They are told by Nissan to push the car to it's ultimate limit (gotta love their job huh!). But an average Joe like you and me, would never push their car to that limit. They probably had to do at least 10+ very hard launches to get that number. Even though the number is impressive and good for their (Nissan) sale, 5.1 is bit more realistic.
Ummm.... the current HR Z's can get to 60 in 5.1; the G37 7AT does 0-60 in 5 seconds flat. The stated 4.7 seems VERY right for this car. My guess is that the AT is as fast if not faster than that.

Speaking of average Joe's... When will you do a full on launch of the car from dead stop like Edmunds did? More than likely, you will have a small rollout, then get on the gas. If so, expect 4.9 0-60 as Edmunds also stated (although it is probally better than that real life).
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hmm, I dont know... 4.7 is possible, just not very good for the car. I wouldnt call it very right either. 5.0s would be more likely...
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hmm, I dont know... 4.7 is possible, just not very good for the car. I wouldnt call it very right either. 5.0s would be more likely...
So, a car that weighs 300 pounds less with equal power will do the same 0-60??? G37 does 0-60 in 5 seconds....
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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So, a car that weighs 300 pounds less with equal power will do the same 0-60??? G37 does 0-60 in 5 seconds....
I agree with you completely. If the G37 does 0-60 in 5 secs and weighs 300 lbs more than the 370z, then a 4.7 sec 0-60 for the 370z is very plausable. Nay sayers are simply talking out of their AS*, and their skepticism is based on nothing factual. On what basis are they doubting Motor Trend's test results.
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