Nissan went a bit punk on us with the Australian premiere of the 370Z. At least, I guess that’s what the deal was supposed to be with these young girls with ripped shorts and all.
Dan Thompson, CEO, Nissan Motor Company Australia started his address by announcing Nissan will be returning to the NÃ¼rburgring in April for a new assault on the Nordschleife. Presumably, in a Spec V.
Dan also mentioned something about the new 2009 model Maxima. But, try as I might, I just couldn’t see it on the stand. I’m sure it was there somewhere, maybe you saw it? No, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the Maxima is bland, or anything…
Part audio of Thompson’s address below, apologies for missing the start (good help is hard to find these days, so you’ll just have to trust me on the NÃ¼rburgring stuff). As usual, piccies and press release after the jump.[audio:http://www.ausmotive.com/audio/MIMS09-Nissan.mp3]
New Nissan 370Z: More Agile, More Compact, More Thrills
New Nissan 370Z continues the Z-car bloodline offering an authentic sports car experience with enhanced performance and handling thanks to its more compact dimensions and attention to weight- saving.
In the first full redesign of the iconic Nissan Z since its re-introduction in 2003, the new 370Z now sports a shorter wheelbase, greater use of lightweight body materials, new engine with more horsepower and a new 7-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, as well as the worldâ€™s first synchronized down/up shift rev control system for the manual transmission.
Now in its 40th year, the Z became an icon of global, affordable sportscar passion. The new 370Z continues Nissanâ€™s philosophy of design, performance and technical innovation, offering authentic performance, true sportscar handling and athletic, agile design.
Nissan Australia Managing Director, Dan Thompson said, â€œThe 240Z made its Australian debut in 1970 â€“ a few months after the global unveiling in Tokyo in October 1969 â€“ and it began an exciting lineage that built a dedicated fan base. The new 370Z builds on the best features of both the first and last generations Zâ€“cars â€“ respectful but not retro, simple yet sophisticated, and unmistakably Z.â€
The 370Z will launch in Australia mid-year in one, comprehensively equipped specification grade at $67,990 for the 6-speed manual and $70,990 for the 7-speed automatic transmission version â€“ representing a major value advantage over the outgoing 350Z Track manual (which was priced at $68,990).
New Exterior: More athletic, more muscular, 100% Z
The 2009 370Zâ€™s dynamic new styling offers dual benefits â€“ a more aggressive appearance and a lighter, tighter structure for enhanced performance. The new Zâ€™s wheelbase is nearly 100mm shorter than the previous generation Z (2550mm versus 2650mm), while overall length is reduced by 65mm (4250mm versus 4320mm). At the same time, the overall width been increased by 30mm and the rear track by 50mm.
Along with its new structure and stance, the 370Z has a taut new skin â€“completely new, yet unmistakably Z. The exterior design incorporates intentional 240Z styling cues, a â€œdynamic motionâ€ feel with a dramatic cantilevered roof (with Nissan GT-R styling cues).
370Z Interior: putting the driver into action
The interior design of the new 370Z continues the Z tradition of driving for drivingâ€™s sake. Particular attention has been paid to the quality of the material, as well as the fit and finish.
The traditional 2-seat sportscar layout is built around a deeply scooped instrument panel with a full-length centre console separating the driver and passengerâ€™s seat. In the rear is an open luggage area with improved storage and accessibility.
Interior packaging also improves on the previous generation, including the removal of the rear strut brace (replaced with less intrusive structural reinforcements) and by adding a new â€œshelfâ€ area behind the seats, creating an ideal area for storing briefcases. A retractable cover is standard on the 370Z and locking glove compartment has been added.
Life on board is upgraded with the addition of standard satellite navigation, Bluetooth and a premium-feel material on seats, armrest and door trims add a luxury-car feel.
3.7-litre engine: the Zâ€™s pounding heart
As its new moniker suggests, the new 370Z is now powered by a 3.7-litre VQ37VHR engine with VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift). Along with its larger displacement, the new engine gives better power delivery all the way to the 7500rpm redline, improved lowend power and more high-end torque, creating an entirely new driving experience.
Approximately 35 percent of the engineâ€™s parts are new, versus the previous design. Power is up at 245kW, while torque has improved to 363Nm (Ref: 350Z is 230kW & 358Nm).
The new engine is backed by a choice of two new advanced transmissions, both designed to improve driver performance. The newly improved close-ratio 6-speed manual gearbox includes the worldâ€™s first synchronized down/ up shift rev control system, which allows drivers of any skill level to experience perfectly smooth gear shifts every time. The â€œSynchroRevâ€ control function automatically adjusts engine speed when changing gear to the exact speed of the next gear position, essentially â€œblippingâ€ the throttle to smooth out any down/up shifts. â€œThis exciting new Z represents the essence of the Nissan brand, just as the original 240Z did nearly 40 years before,â€ said Thompson. â€œIt provides passionate performance at an excellent value â€“ just what was needed then and just what sports car enthusiasts are looking for today.â€