Just over 40 years ago a motoring icon was born. As the sixties moved into the 1970s, the Datsun 240Z was launched on the US market. American drivers instantly fell in love with the car and sales in that one market alone regularly topped 50,000 units annually. The Z legend had begun.
Now four decades, six generations and well over a million cars later, Nissan is introducing a special celebratory version of the newest two-seater to wear the famous Z badge - the Nissan 370Z.
The Nissan 370Z Black Edition marks the 40th anniversary in style. Available from April 2010 as a coupe only, and in a limited edition run of just 370 units in Europe, it comes in two distinctive metallic shades: black and quartz. Both paints use Nissan's pioneering Scratch Shield technology, 'healing' the finish in the case of stone chip damage.
Standard specification means it already has a bespoke BOSE premium audio system, 19-inch forged alloy wheels, Stop/Start button with Nissan's Intelligent Key and a sporting six speed manual transmission with unique Synchro Rev Control technology. The electronically controlled rev matching system ensures perfect 'heel and toe' gear changes every time. A seven-speed automatic version with column-mounted paddle shifts is available as an option.
The Nissan 370Z Black Edition comes as standard with Nissan's next generation combined audio and navigation system, offering improved ease-of-operation, new and updated features.
At its heart is a high performance Hard Disk Drive (HDD) navigation system that offers customer audio storage capacity of 9.3GB.
Among the many benefits are vastly extended mapping which now includes Turkey, Eastern Europe and Russia, as well as a new easy to follow 3D navigation guidance with improved graphics and a more realistic depiction of the road and landmarks ahead for many of Europe's principle cities. The resolution of the new 7 inch screen is up to four times better than the previous generation system.
The new generation navigation system allows USB connectivity for portable audio devices. Furthermore, DVDs can be played on the centrally mounted navigation screen (when the car is stationary), while external audio and video devices can be connected via the VTR connections that are found in the central storage box.
In terms of the Nissan 370Z's mechanical specification, the Black Edition matches the standard Nissan 370Z. That means a 3.7-litre 24-valve twin cam V6 developing 328PS and a limited top speed of 155mph and a 0-62 mph time of 5.3 seconds (5.6 seconds for the automatic version). The 2010 model year update means the Nissan 370Z is now fully compliant with forthcoming Euro 5 emission legislation.
Exemplary levels of handling and grip are assured by the focused rear-wheel drive chassis which features fully independent suspension, powerful upgraded brakes and precise speed sensitive power steering.
Since its launch in June 2009, more than 1,050 examples of the Nissan 370Z have been sold across Europe, an exceptional achievement for a niche product in extremely challenging market conditions. The car's largest market to date has been the UK, followed by France and Germany.
"The 'story of Z' is full of positives, with success not just in the sales charts all over the world but on racetracks and at award ceremonies, too. The 370Z Black Edition is a fitting tribute to a great car," said Vincent Wijnen, Nissan's European Vice President for Marketing.
Customers can order the Nissan 370Z Black Edition from all Nissan High Performance Centres and throughout the dealer network with deliveries starting in April 2010.
Prices start from - £33,645 for the manual and £35,045 for the automatic transmission (prices include £750 showroom tax which comes into effect on 1st April 2010).
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