What is it?
It is a handsome, brutish and striking front-engined rear-wheel-drive sports coupe hewn from the rock of old school. The 370Z is bigger and tauter than its 350Z predecessor and has refined that car’s wayward raucousness by adding a touch of refinement.
But it’s still a 3.7-litre V6 with 326bhp, a roaring soundtrack and a tail-happy chassis. Yes, it’s been to finishing school but you can’t tame a wild heart, and this one is happy to play the thug in a suit.
Gone is the vision-blurring experience of the 350Z, the 370Z opting instead for a more supple, relaxed approach to ride philosophy. That’s not to say it’s gone soft, not by a long shot. It’s not uncomfortable, but firm and purposeful – where the purpose means understanding how hard you can push the chassis on any given road. The understeer has been greatly reduced and power oversteer is still only a dab of your right foot away.
And, with that torque-laden engine, the temptation to indulge in a spot of hooning is irresistible. 326bhp and 267lb ft of torque equals a 0–62mph time of 5.3 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph, and the very codename of the engine (VQ37VHR – where VHR is Very High Revving) signals some serious intent. To make flogging this engine to obliteration that much more enjoyable, you must spec the synchro rev, surely one of the finest modern car gadgets of our time. It automatically blips the throttle on downshifts to match engine speed. Instant driving god beckons.
On the inside
Nissan has been busy on the interior of the Zed, upgrading the quality of materials substantially over the 350Z. Where that car was an artless aff air of brittle, unattractive black plastic with functional ergonomics, the 370Z is a more agreeable mix of leather, alcantara and more solid, quality points.
The high-tech instrumentation feels like it was made with intent and adds to the feeling of expense in the cabin as a whole. Yet the major controls feel lovely and meaty and focus the strong-arm attitude of the Zed.
The 370Z might be a welcome shot in the arm of a body sedated by economics and the environment, but you’ll pay quite handsomely for that shot. Yes, the V6 makes a lovely noise and you’ll never tire of it, but with emissions of 249g/km of CO2 and a combined mpg figure of 26.9 – less so when you inevitably have an ankle spasm – it is rather pricey to run on a daily basis. But, and this is a justifying but, it costs less than £30k for the entry-level model and that, dear readers, makes it astonishing value.