Not in North America, though, where Nissan has opted to throw the dice one more time. The general fall in coupé sales meant the company wasn’t prepared to stump up for an all-new model, so beneath the Z’s retro bodywork is much of the 370Z’s structure. The closeness of the relationship is borne out by the fact both share an identical wheelbase.

The big change comes under the bonnet, with the arrival of a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6, this sourced from sister brand Infiniti’s Q50 and making an impressively bristly 400bhp but adding about 80kg compared with the old V6. Buyers can choose either a six-speed manual or a nine-speed automatic gearbox, with the senior Performance trim also adding a limited-slip differential at the back.

The crisp lines of the retro exterior design work well, although the strangely large fuel-filler cap at the back is further evidence of the need to bend new metalwork around the 370Z that continues to lurk underneath. Being a child of the eighties, I really like the Z32 300ZX-style rear lights, too.

But the anachronistic impression persists when you get into the cabin. The Z has plenty of modern touches, including digital instruments and the mandatory touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard, but the core architecture seems barely changed from that of the 370Z. That means awkward, hard-to-see rotary heating controls tucked low down and a trio of supplementary analogue dials on the dashtop, turned towards the driver. The seat-adjustment controls are still awkwardly positioned between the seat base and the transmission tunnel. A mechanical handbrake lever and high/off/low rocker switches for the heated seats add to the dated vibe.

Performance has definitely improved, though. The 370Z always had to be worked hard to give its best, whereas the Z’s new turbocharged engine has much more low-down muscle. The 350lb ft torque peak is fully present from just 1500rpm, and although there is some predictable lag at basement revs, enthusiasm builds rapidly and the engine gains a muscular voice as the rev counter heads towards the red. Peak power comes at 6400rpm, but the engine will happily go to its 7100rpm limiter. The shift action for the manual gearbox is light and a little lacking in feel but accurate once the knack is gained, and the Z has a switchable rev-matching function to smooth your downshifts.



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