Forty years ago, in October 1969, the Datsun 240Z arrived in North America, heralding a new era in sports car design. The new import from Japan was a revelation – offering the performance of a Porsche, the looks of a Jaguar and the price and reliability of, well, a Nissan. It was an affordable sports car that could be driven every day and was accessible to anyone with the $3,626 base price.
And though the price of a new Z® might have changed a little in the past 40 years, its unmatched value, style, performance and segment leadership remains stronger than ever. To celebrate, Nissan has created a special, limited production version of the 2010 Nissan 370Z Coupe, the 370Z 40th Anniversary Edition. It will be available at select Nissan dealers nationwide beginning in spring 2010.
The 370Z 40th Anniversary Edition starts out as a 370Z Touring model equipped with manual transmission and Sport Package (including SynchroRev Match™, front chin spoiler, rear spoiler, Nissan Sport Brakes, 19-inch Rays forged aluminum-alloy wheels and viscous limited-slip differential) and adds a premium "40th Quartz" exterior color and red leather-appointed interior.
Additional exclusive equipment includes a high-luster smoke wheel finish, red brake calipers and 40th Anniversary badges on the rear hatch and front shock tower brace. Inside, along with the red leather-appointed seats, are red door panel inserts, 40th Anniversary seatback and floormat embroidery, red stitching on the center stack, shift boot and kneepads, smooth leather steering wheel with red stitching and a plaque of authenticity. Every 40th Anniversary Z® also comes with a commemorative premium satin car cover.
Other changes for the 2010 model year 370Z Coupe are minimal. Following the total redesign of the iconic Z® for the 2009 model year, the enhancements include revised Navigation Package contents, the addition of heated mirrors and in-cabin microfilter and one new exterior color, Black Cherry.
"With the introduction of the totally new 370Z last year, Z® solidified its position as one of the most desirable sports cars on the planet at any price – as it has for the previous four decades," said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. "Just as the original 240Z design still looks remarkably fresh today, we think this current generation 370Z is also destined to endure for many years to come."
In addition to the 2010 Nissan 370Z Coupe, an open-air 370Z Roadster and 350-horsepower NISMO 370Z are also available as (full information on both models available separately – see Nissannews.com).
A Sculptural Yet Functional Exterior Design
The 2010 370Z's dynamic styling offers dual benefits – an aggressive appearance and a light, highly rigid structure for enhanced performance. The 370Z Coupe's wheelbase is nearly four inches shorter than the previous generation Z® (100.4 inches versus 104.3 inches), accomplished by moving the rear wheels forward in the 2nd generation FM platform, while overall length is reduced by 2.7 inches (167.1 inches versus 169.8 inches). At the same time, the overall width been increased by 1.3 inches, the rear track by 2.2 inches and overall height reduced by 0.3 inches, giving the 370Z a much more aggressive stance.
The Z® features aluminum door panels, along with an all-aluminum hood (the previous aluminum hood design utilized steel reinforcements) and an aluminum hatch. At the same time, the body structure was extensively revised for this generation design, improving front body torsion rigidity by 30 percent; a new front suspension cradle to reduce front body lateral bending; new rear structural reinforcements; and an underbody "V-bar" to help reduce rear lateral bending. Other enhancements include the use of a carbon fiber composite radiator housing and strengthening of the rear fender and hatch areas.
Rear body torsion rigidity is improved by up to 22 percent and rear body vertical bending rigidity is improved by up to 30 percent (versus the previous generation). The result is enhanced overall solidity and handling capability. Even with all of the body strengthening measures the overall body-in-white is lighter than the previous body-in-white.
The 370Z taut exterior design incorporates intentional 240Z styling cues, a sleek aerodynamic shape, a "dynamic motion" feel with a dramatic cantilevered roof and a "low visual gravity." The coefficient of drag is 0.30 (0.29 with the Sport Package), the same as the previous generation 350Z Coupe. The 370Z also maintains the previous generation's zero front lift and zero rear lift when equipped with the rear spoiler, thanks to extensive aerodynamics efforts – including an "inverse area" front bumper design which smoothes the flow of air to the sides of the vehicle, while the rear design maximizes the control of air flow from the roof to the rear hatch. In addition, the front overhang was extended 1.2 inches and more than 200 rear quarter panel patterns were made and wind tunnel tested to counter the negative aerodynamic effects of shortening the wheelbase (versus the 350Z).
One of the most distinctive features of the bold exterior design is the headlight/taillight treatment, which features a fierce "boomerang" shape. High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-functional xenon headlights with auto on/off feature are standard.
The hood's deep character lines continue over the windshield into the cantilevered roof design. The intense broad-shouldered rear shape is highlighted by the integration of the boomerang taillights and wide, flared rear fenders.
The 370Z's sleek silhouette is defined by its upswept quarter window design that is echoed by the dynamic upward curvature in the lower rocker panel and the sense of the taut sheet metal molding itself around the wheels and frame. Attention to detail and functionality is evident throughout the exterior design, including the addition of a flashing (repeater lamp) side marker lamp/emblem.
Performance body pieces are available as part of the optional Sport Package, including a front chin spoiler and rear spoiler. The 370Z is offered in eight exterior colors: Pearl White, Monterey Blue, Brilliant Silver, Magnetic Black, Solid Red, Platinum Graphite, Black Cherry (new for 2010) and 40th Quartz (exclusive to the 40th Anniversary Package).
A Cockpit Equipped To Make Car and Driver Feel Like One
The interior design of the 2010 370Z Coupe continues the Z® tradition of enhancing driving pleasure, no matter what the road or traffic conditions offer. The traditional 2-seat layout is built around a deeply scooped instrument panel with a full-length center console separating the driver and passenger's seat. In the rear is an open cargo area with enhanced storage and accessibility. The design focus incorporates a "layer concept," with an information layer, an operation layer and a holding layer.
The information layer provides enhanced visibility with easy access to all key data. The gauges are once again attached to the steering column, so the driver doesn't have to choose between the perfect steering wheel position and visibility of the gauges. The large upper steering wheel opening in front of the gauges is designed to provide a good view of the readouts. Gauge size was increased over the previous generation design, including a 15 percent increase in the tachometer, and the gauge angle was adjusted for improved readability.
The instrument panel retains the traditional 3-pod cluster with oil temperature, voltmeter and clock, while the speedometer and tachometer include an "initial sweep" function, coming alive when the Z® is first started.
The operation layer includes the steering wheel, shifter and switchgear. The steering wheel is an "oval" 3-spoke design, which offers baseball-style stitching and large thumb grips and palm rest areas for improved feel on long drives. The surface of the leather-wrapped wheel is "shaved" to provide a more kidney-like shape to better fit in the hand. The shifter was also redesigned versus the previous generation, with the manual transmission shifter padded in different areas to improve the accuracy of diagonal shifts and to feel softer in the hand for forward and backward motions.
The holding layer includes the seats, knee pads and door trim support. The driver's seat is uniquely different from the passenger's seat, with lower seat cushion cut-outs on the sides where the thighs rest – allowing the driver to push on the pedals without the seat fighting them. The seat also features an improved frame that helps it to better hold the driver in place during cornering.
Both the driver and passenger's seats are structured with an anti-slip material in the main seating surface. The sporty woven cloth seats feature standard 8-way driver's/4-way passenger manual adjustments, with heated 4-way power-adjustable leather-appointed seats standard with the 370Z Touring model. Adjustable front seat Active Head Restraints are also standard.
The door armrests have been designed to provide extra support when cornering and the kneepads are better integrated to help the driver maintain the proper position while cornering.
In addition, the available aluminum-trimmed pedals utilize rubber insert material to improve grip. The accelerator pedal is floor-mounted (versus hanging) to provide better contact with the foot, less effort to operate and easier pedal-to-pedal foot/heel movement. The brake pedal is a variable ratio design with enhanced rigidity and easy operation.
Interior packaging is also enhanced from the previous generation, including the removal of the rear strut brace (replaced with less intrusive structural reinforcements) and by adding a new "shelf" area behind the seats, creating an ideal area for storing briefcases. A retractable cover is standard on the 370Z Touring model.
Standard interior comfort and convenience features include Nissan Intelligent Key™ with Push Button Start, power windows with one-touch auto up/down feature, power door locks with auto-lock feature, a center console box with a new non-intrusive cover design, automatic climate control, rear window defroster with timer, two 12-volt power outlets, three cupholders, dual overhead map lights and a AM/FM/CD/AUX 4-speaker audio system with illuminated steering wheel-mounted controls.
The 370Z Touring model adds standard 4-way power adjustable heated leather-appointed and synthetic suede sport seats with adjustable lumbar support, 6CD Bose audio system with eight speakers (includes dual subwoofer) and MP3/WMA playback, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately), Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System and HomeLink® Universal Transceiver.
The new 40th Anniversary Package includes exclusive red seats and door panel inserts, seatback embroidered with 40th Anniversary logo, 40th Anniversary floor mats, and interior plaque of authenticity.
The available enhanced Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System with 7-inch VGA touch-sensitive display, 9.3GB HDD Music Box, USB connectivity and iPod® connection, XM NavTraffic® with Real-Time Traffic Information and XM NavWeather™ (XM® subscription required, sold separately), automatic phonebook download (select phones) and Bluetooth® Streaming Audio.
The 370Z interior is available Black cloth or for 370Z Touring models, a choice of Gray, Black or Persimmon leather-appointed and synthetic suede seating. The 40th Anniversary Package includes special red leather-appointed and synthetic suede seating.
Taking Performance To A New Level
Many aspects of a sports car's performance come down to the simple formulation of power-to-weight. The 370Z represents a major achievement on both sides of the equation versus the previous generation 350Z – with a net weight reduction of 95 pounds (Nissan 370Z versus the comparable 350Z Enthusiast model) and a power increase of 26 horsepower. In addition, the center of gravity was lowered through use of a lower engine positioning (-0.6 inches) and lower driver hip point (-0.4 inches). Rotating mass was reduced with a shorter carbon-fiber composite driveshaft.
All 2010 370Z Coupes utilize the fourth generation of Nissan's award-winning VQ-series V6. The 3.7-liter VQ37VHR engine with VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift) is rated at 332 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm and 270 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm.
Key to the enhanced performance is the VVEL system, which is able to optimize intake valve open/close movements, allowing the needed air to be sent promptly to the combustion chamber at the precisely optimized time. Since the VVEL system can adjust to open the valves slightly, it improves fuel efficiency by reducing camshaft friction and fuel waste. It also provides cleaner emissions by allowing for quicker warm-up of the catalyst and by stabilizing combustion when the engine is cool.
The engine is backed by a choice of two advanced transmissions, both designed to improve driver performance. The close-ratio 6-speed manual includes an available synchronized downshift rev matching system, which allows drivers of any skill level to experience professional-like gear shift performance. The SynchroRev Match™ function automatically controls and adjusts engine speed when shifting to the exact speed of the next gear position, essentially "blipping" the throttle to smooth out any up/down shifts. This not only allows the driver to focus more on braking and steering, it improves vehicle balance and smoothness by reducing the typical "shock" when the clutch is engaged. The system can be deactivated with a button next to the shifter for drivers who prefer less vehicle intervention. The SynchroRev Match™ system is offered as part of the optional Sport Package.
Overall shift feeling has also been improved, with reduced vibration and noise (accomplished through improved lubrication) and a modification to the lever angle of the short-throw shifter.
The 370Z's 7-speed automatic with Downshift Rev Matching (DRM) and Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) is designed to offer quick, manual-like shifting when operated in manual mode with a target time of 0.5 seconds between shifts. Drivers can use the standard paddle shifters or the shift lever. With optimized torque converter lock-up logic, the new 7-speed automatic feels more direct, like a manual transmission. The 7-speed's wide gear ratios offer improved fuel efficiency (versus the previous 5-speed), while the Adaptive Shift Control is designed to adjust to the driver's driving style.
Fuel economy is rated at 18 mpg City/26mpg Highway for both the 7-speed automatic and 6-speed manual transmissions.
The previous generation Z®'s suspension has also been rethought to reduce weight, improve strength and improve camber change and lateral displacement. The double-wishbone front suspension (replacing the lower multi-link setup in the 350Z) uses lighter forged aluminum arms and a lightweight rigid aluminum-alloy cradle, along with a lighter stabilizer bar with a 35 percent improved lever ratio.
The 4-link rear suspension is also stiffer and lighter, with the rear cradle entirely integrated into a single part (no welding). "High response" shock absorbers are utilized on each corner, with ride comfort improved through reduced shock friction.
The standard 370Z wheel and tire package features 18x8.0-inch front/18x9.0-inch 5-spoke lightweight aluminum-alloy wheels with P225/50R18 front/P245/45R18 rear Yokohama ADVAN Sport high performance summer tires. Also available as part of the optional Sport Package are 19-inch RAYS forged lightweight aluminum-alloy wheels with Bridgestone Potenza RE050A P245/40R19 front/P275/35R19 tires. The 40th Anniversary Package utilizes the 19-inch wheels and tires with a special premium smoke wheel finish.
The Z®'s standard 4-wheel vented disc brake system includes Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). The optional Sport Package includes Nissan Sport Brakes with large diameter 14.0-inch front and 13.8-inch rear rotors (versus 12.6-inch front/ rear standard rotors) with 4-piston front and 2-piston rear aluminum calipers.
Steering is provided by a vehicle-speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion design that provides improved response. Unwanted steering kickback and vibrations are reduced through use of a solenoid valve that acts like a damper when there is a harsh impact load. The standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system has also been revised with new electronic hardware and all-new logic (versus the 350Z).
The Nissan 370Z's long list of standard safety features includes the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors; front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags; roof-mounted side-impact air bags; seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, Active Head Restraints, Zone Body Construction with front and rear crumple zones, Nissan Vehicle Immobilizer System, Vehicle Security System and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
Two Models, Three Options
The 2010 370Z model line-up consists of two models – 370Z and the 370Z Touring – and three available packages.
Along with the long list of standard features of the 370Z, the 370Z Touring adds heated leather-appointed and synthetic suede power seats, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, 8-speaker Bose® audio system, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription, sold separately) cargo cover and aluminum-trimmed pedals.
The optional Sport Package features 19-inch RAYS forged wheels and Bridgestone Potenza tires, aerodynamic front and rear spoiler, larger Nissan Sport Brakes, SynchroRev Match™ (6-speed manual transmission only) and Viscous Limited Slip Differential.
The Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System, enhanced for 2010, features a 7-inch VGA touch-sensitive display, 9.3GB HDD Music Box, USB connectivity and iPod® connection, XM NavTraffic® with Real-Time Traffic Information and XM NavWeather™ (XM® subscription required, sold separately), automatic phonebook download (select phones) and Bluetooth® Streaming Audio.
Finally, the 40th Anniversary Package, with its long list of exclusive content, will be available in limited numbers beginning in spring 2010.