Sports cars are great – totally impractical, but super fun cars to drive. The 370z is one of those cars and it does not take much to bring out the little school boy in the most mature adults.
The 370z is powered by a 3.7 V6, which is mid-mounted and powers the rear wheels with 245kw and 363nm. Power is controlled by a super slick 7 speed automatic with vicious limited slip diff and paddle shifters behind the wheels. The shifts are super smooth in automatic and will be a little harsher in sport or manual mode.
The power is put to the ground via some beautiful 19 inch Rays forged alloy wheels and, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Rays, they are a wheel company who supply wheels to most of the Japanese drift and track cars in the land of the rising sun. Just look at those wheels, they are friggen gorgeous! The rims are wrapped in sticky Bridgestone RE50A tires in a 275/19 in the rear and 245/19 in the fronts. The grip these guys give the car is just phenomenal. The suspension, strangely enough, is not as hard as I originally anticipated; with a reasonably soft but progressive-feeling setup, as soon as you start to push the cars in the corners. For a roadster, I was pleasantly surprised.
The interior is, well, full of function. A big rev counter with speedo on the right and a digital info centre slightly to the left. Most of the info there is available also on the great intuitive navigation system the car is available with. It supports USB and Ipod connections, along with Bluetooth for your phone. It also has a hard disk that will record music to it for playback at a later stage. The BOSE system with 8 speakers is pretty clear and features two little subwoofers to bring out the low end a little bit more. The volume is also impressive and will play relatively crystal clear quality until max volume is reached.
The leather seats are also heated and electrically adjustable for driver and passenger and offer decent lateral support . They are comfortable considering that they are of a sporty nature.
Let’s be honest; nobody drives a roadster with the top up all the time. Thankfully, we had some sunny days to put the car, and the topless nature of the roof, through its paces and getting the roof down is a breeze at only 20 seconds. It’s a rather complicated looking contraption, but I assure you the roof folds away well and in no time at all. Highway speeds with the roof down is still pretty good in the car with regards to wind and noise.
The brakes are some of the more responsive brakes I’ve used and work exceptionally on the street. I’m sure it would take a real couple of laps on the track to see them fading, but I can tell you at sizes of 355x32mm in the front and 350×20 in the rear, they bring the car to stopping speeds in extremely good times.
Acceleration is also pretty good considering the size and weight of the 370z. 0-100kph is claimed at 5.8seconds for our automatic and 5.5seconds for the manual. The great thing about the new 370z is what Nissan likes to call Syncro rev. This is basically an Rpm matching system to make sure you are at optimum Rpm, when down-shifting. It basically blips the throttle and sounds amazing! Fuel consumption really shocked me with an ultra-low reading of 8.5l/100km on the open road and a 10.5l/100km in town. This proves that sports cars with muscle can actually be fuel efficient too.
The 370z also features 6 airbags and 3-Point ERL seatbelts with per-tensioners & load limiters. There is also an area for steering wheel collaption, pedestrian popping hood and an energy-absorbing steering column, all standard on the car.
There are only very few cars competing with the 370z roadster and honestly it’s such a brilliant car which can travel to work and back in the week or be doing a couple of hot laps around the track. Personally I would just like to park it and look at it all day.
The 370z roadster retails at R 621 900 (as tested) and includes a 3 year 100 000km warranty and a 3 year 90 000km service plan. Services are listed at every 15 000km and for more info, check out www.nissan.co.za