The 370Z comes from a long line of distinguished sports cars beginning with the 240Z, a car that was revered for its lively handling and excellent power-to-weight ratio. The 240Z was also very affordable and reliable and thus spelt the beginning of the end for British sports cars of the 70s, which were not. At that time, the brand was known internationally as Datsun until a rebranding was effected in the early 1980s. The 240Z grew in size with larger engines and longer bodies for the 260Z and 280Z models. They eventually became a 2+2, known as the 280ZX with all models powered by an inline 6-cylinder engine. With the first 300ZX, the move was made to three-litre V6 engines in naturally aspirated and turbo configurations. In the following version, the CAD-modelled 300ZX became a rolling showcase for Nissan sports technology with either a 222hp naturally aspirated V6 or a 300hp twin-turbo version with variable valve timing, direct ignition and Super HICAS four-wheel steering. After passing the technology showcase mantle to the Nissan Skyline GT-R, now known simply as the GT-R, a move to simplify and return to the original 240Z’s roots brought about the 350Z, powered by a naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 engine. Performance was comparable but slower than the old twin turbo 300ZX. Finally the new generation of this carefully refined sports car icon, the lighter, faster and slightly smaller Nissan 370Z has arrived.
- Written by Narend Sooknarine
- Category: Driving Impressions