2009 nissan 370z 015

2009 nissan 370z 015

A simplified trim lineup and just a handful of available configurations for 2009 make the new Nissan 370Z a simpler car than its predecessor, but paradoxically, new features and options have made the car considerably more complex. Starting sales today at $29,930 for the six-speed manual-equipped coupe, the new Z is priced aggressively considering its performance targets.

Whether the 370Z can reach its goal of competing successfully with the Boxster and its ilk remains to be seen in full testing, but at a glance, the car offers a lot for its price. Two upgrade packages, Sport and Navigation, are available, with the $3,000 Sport upgrade offering 19in RAYS forged wheels, Bridgestone Potenza tires, aero trim on the front and rear fascias, larger brakes, viscous LSD. The Navigation package offers a hard-drive based navigation system, 9.3GB of music storage and an iPod interface for $1,850.

The rev-matching manual gearbox is a unique feature (which can thankfully be disabled for those that prefer to drive themselves) for the Sport package-equipped models, and in all cars the automatic finally gets an upgrade to a much more modern 7-speed unit. At the heart of the new Z lies a familiar VQ-variant engine displacing 3.7L and rated at 332hp (250kW), though most of the power gain over the outgoing model's 3.5L unit is to be found at the very top of the rev range.

For more on the 2009 370Z, read our coverage of its unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show.