Nissan’s 370Z is still available new, but should it be?
Nissan’s 370Z has been around in pretty much the same guise since 2004. Yes, it was called the 350Z back then but essentially it’s the same car. Similar chassis, familiar interior, and much the same drivetrain, albeit with much more power.
So how does Nissan justify selling this car all these years later at the current price of R661 900?
I drove the 370Z for just 2 short days recently and unfortunately for the Fairlady Z I also had the much-praised RS3 on test at the same time.
A not so happy coincidence for the 370Z some would say. But these cars couldn’t be more different from each other, even if they tried. The 370Z has that old school, low slung front engine rear wheel drive feel. The RS3 is pretty much a sedan mounted atop a rocket. A well-handling rock, but a rocket non-the less. The 370Z wills the driver to have fun, to take the left that leads to a deserted roundabout only to help you paint some black lines. The RS3, to find the last tenth of a second around your favourite corner. The RS3 is scary fast. The 370Z is scary fun.
So very different cars then, but enough about the RS3. This is about the 370Z and why in 2017 we still have this remnant of 70’s style driving performance.
It’s the last of its ilk
Yes, you can have a Toyota 86 but it’s not really in the same league. It’s much slower than the Z and doesn’t feel as good inside. It’s also much easier to drive and the heavier controls in the Z makes the driver work that little bit harder. This might not translate into more speed but it certainly does feel more involving.
There’s much to enjoy inside the cabin of the 370z. The clank-clank of the gear shifts as you make precise and measured shifts on that 6-speed gearbox. The long travel pedal depressed fully to access those 245kW and the big steering wheel which provides excellent feel and loads up just right. I would have loved some rake adjustment, but we digress.
Then there’s that auto blip. Even after years of heel-and-toeing, and perfecting my downshifts to try to rival that of a 90’s Le Mans driver, this system is better than I could ever be at rev-matching.
If driver involvement what you’re after, The 370Z uses the same formula its ancestors did to make the Z badge as iconic as it is.
With so many great cars launched in the last 24 months, most of them under for under R1 000 000, it would be easy to look past the ageing 370Z. Nothing about this car makes sense in 2017 but it is the only one of its kind and the last of its kind. And for that, we should all be grateful.
In a world when the bottom line is all that matters and manufacturers pander to panels and focus groups, Nissan has decided to keep the Z in the back catalogue of your favourite magazines.
Even after all these years, the lady’Z still got it.
Need to know:
- Price – R661 900
- Power – 245kw @7000rpm
- Torque – 363Nm @5200rpm
- 0-100km/h – 5.3s
- Top Speed – 250km/h
- Fuel Consumption – 10.5l/100
Special thanks to Adeeb Fransiscus from Factor Four for the use of his pristine 2015 370Z