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 world's first synchronised down/up shift rev control system for the manual transmission.
But to get the full measure of the new model, now designated the Nissan 370Z, one need look no farther than the subtle upswept line of the new rear quarter window. Quintessentially Z, the window is reminiscent of the original 1970 240Z - a car that revolutionised the sports car world with its unique combination of performance, style and, especially, value. The new Nissan 370Z continues this philosophy, offering accessible performance, true sports car handling and athletic, agile design.
"The fresh character of the Nissan 370Z is immediately apparent in the crisp new exterior design, which is sportier yet still immensely identifiable as a Z," said Pierre Loing, Nissan's European Vice President for Product Planning. "The new 370Z builds on the best features of both the first and last generation's Z-cars - respectful but not retro, simple yet sophisticated, and unmistakeably Z."
The 2009 Nissan 370Z's dynamic new styling offers dual benefits - a more aggressive appearance and a lighter, tighter structure for enhanced performance. The new Nissan 370Z's wheelbase is nearly 100mm shorter than the previous generation Z (2550mm versus 2650mm), accomplished by moving the rear wheels forward in the 2nd generation FM platform, while overall length is reduced by 70mm (4250mm versus 4320mm). At the same time, the overall width has been increased by 33mm and the rear track by 55mm.
The more compact exterior dimensions and expanded use of lightweight materials help reduce weight, while at the same time the body structure has been extensively reinforced, improving rigidity.
Along with its new structure and stance, the Nissan 370Z has a taut new skin - one that looks completely new, yet completely Z. The exterior design incorporates intentional 240Z styling cues, a sleek aerodynamic shape, a 'dynamic motion' feel with a dramatic cantilevered roof (with Nissan GT-R styling cues) and a 'low visual gravity'.
The Nissan 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 moulding itself around the wheels and frame. Attention to detail and functionality is evident throughout the exterior design, including the addition of a turn indicator integrated into the Z logo mounted between the front wheel and door.
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