All photos by Nissan
We had the chance to get behind the wheel of the venerable 2010 370Z Coupe 40th Anniversary Edition courtesy of Nissan. You might ask – the 40th anniversary of exactly what? Well, the 240Z started it all and now 40 years later we have the 370Z.
This is clearly one ride that stands out in the crowd. This 370Z is all sports car to the bone and its DNA can be traced back to the 240Z, 260Z, 280Z, 300Z and 350Z. How's that for a family tree?
The 40th Anniversary Touring Edition we tested was equipped with manual transmission, front chin spoiler, rear spoiler, crazy big Nissan Sport brakes, 19-inch forged aluminum alloy wheels and limited slip differential. This baby also had a high luster smoke wheel finish, red brake calipers and 40th Anniversary badges on the rear and front shock tower brace. The interior had some fine touches with red leather seating and a soft-to-the-elbow arm rest on the door that caught the attention of many of our passengers during our test time.
This is a classic and original design that garners plenty of well-deserved looks on the street. The 370Z's low muscular stance rings true of how a sports car should look and the headlights give this car an aerodynamic stance that says "go" even when it is parked. The overall length is shorter than the 350Z it replaces and the width is a few inches wider, giving the 370Z a more aggressive stance. The cantilevered roof brings back styling cues from the 240Z and looks great from all angles. The 19-inch wheels and tires with a special premium smoke wheel finish were welcomed with "oohs" and "aahs" on more than one occasion.
We spent a lot of time in a 280ZX back in the day and we have to say this new 370Z brought back many memories. The red interior is not overdone and the dash is well positioned for most sized drivers. We really liked the fact that the gauges are attached to the steering column. Our test car did not have a nav system but the synthetic suede sport seats with adjustable lumbar support and the 6CD Bose audio system with eight speakers were nice touches. Overall the interior is not overly complicated so you can concentrate on enjoying the experience and the feeling of being in s sports car rather than a science lab!
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. I can tell you first hand that the engine has the right mix of power, roar and refinement. According to Nissan, the 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 also improves vehicle balance and smoothness by reducing the typical "shock" when the clutch is engaged. It definitely helped our driving and gear shifting and you'll like the way it feels. We were most impressed with the handling in tight corners as the Z stuck to the road, and we felt confident and in control no matter how hard we zipped around corners. We were also more than satisfied with the 18 mpg City/26mpg Highway rating.
When we had the 370Z parked at a sporting event, it was cool to hear the positive reactions from friends and others in the parking lot. We heard so many stories from people who loved the past Z cars and were impressed by the new 370Z. As good as this car looks, the driving experience ranks just as high, as the folks who designed this sports car really knew what they were doing. For a price tag under $40,000, the 370Z 40th Anniversary Edition has a lot of substance for the money with a design that has staying power. Most importantly, the 370Z is a blast to drive and will keep a smile on your face from the time you press the push-button start until you finish your drive.
Click the thumbnails below to see full versions of each photo.