A completely new 370Z from Nissan, the sixth generation of the Japanese automaker’s legendary Z line of sports cars, was introduced for 2009, one that adopted more technology and features than any Z car before it yet managed to remain a straightforward sports car. In 2011 the 370Z soldiers on relatively unchanged, coming once again in both Coupe and Roadster bodystyles, as well as with a torquey V-6 engine and the choice of manual or automatic transmissions.
Both transmissions are fun in the 370Z but our pick is the six-speed manual. It gets a special SynchroRev Match feature that automatically blips the throttle, helping amateurs sound like the pros. It automatically controls and adjusts engine speed when shifting to the exact speed of the next gear position, allowing the throttle to smooth out any up or down shifts. This helps to improve vehicle balance and smoothness by reducing the typical harshness when the clutch is engaged.
The automatic is good too, coming with no less than seven-speeds and paddle shifters behind the steering wheel for pseudo manual control.
The real star of the show, however, is the car’s sweet, high-revving 3.7-liter V-6 engine. This is the same engine as found in the Infiniti G37 Coupe and in its latest Z-car application develops a peak output of 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque.
With a 7,500 rpm redline, the engine can be wound out, but still has plenty of available torque lower in the rev range. The 0-60 mph sprint will take you less than 5.0 seconds with either the Coupe or Roadster, though if this isn’t fast enough a more expensive Nismo model
is available complete with a 350 horsepower output. Fuel economy isn't great in the grand scheme, but it's acceptable for a sports car at about 18/26 mpg city/highway for the thirstiest models.
The 370Z also comes with 18 inch wheels fitted as standard, however, available as part of an optional Sport Package are 19 inch Rays lightweight forged aluminum-alloy wheels with Bridgestone Potenza tires. Note, these come standard on the sportier Nismo model.
Aiding in the handling department is a shorter wheelbase and wider track than the previous model. Out on the open road, we generally like the way the 2011 Nissan 370Z drives, though the ride can be a bit choppy, and some surfaces create a resonance that amplifies road noise to uncomfortable levels. The exhaust note, especially at full hilt, will make you forget about any of these qualms, however.
Prices start at around $30,000 for the Coupe, rising higher than $40,000 for the Roadster and even higher for the Nismo edition.
For a full review of the 2011 Nissan 370Z’s styling, performance, comfort and quality, safety and features, check out TheCarConnection's
more detailed report.