Full details of the 2009 Nissan 370Z revealed

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 16, 2008

Nissan made available early this month the first authorized photo of the future 2009 370Z Coupe, which is making its first introduction to the world at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, and at this time the company has released official information about the vehicle, together with a tentative estimate for its final sticker price. 

The initial remodeling of the representative Nissan Z from the time it was introduced again as a 2003 model, almost every part and component has been altered. This consists of a shorter wheelbase, greater utilization of lightweight body materials, a fresh engine with extra horsepower and enhanced fuel efficiency, a new seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, a world's first synchronized downshift rev matching system for the manual transmission, and a significantly enhanced passenger compartment.

Following the 'affordable performance' theme of its 350Z precursor, Nissan is aiming a bottom price of about $30,000 for the latest 2009 model, final pricing and specs will be made available soon. 

The wheelbase of the latest Z is almost four inches shorter than the preceding generation, 100.4 inches from 104.3 inches, attained by moving the rear wheels toward the front in the second-generation FM platform, whereas total length is reduced by 2.7 inches, 167.1 inches from 169.8 inches. Simultaneously, the total width has been improved by 1.3 inches, the rear track by 2.2 inches and total height lowered by 0.3 inches, giving the 370Z a much more aggressive posture. Weight is effectively lowered through more compact surface dimensions and extensive use of lightweight materials.

The Z features aluminum door panels for the first time, together with an all-aluminum hood and an aluminum hatch. Simultaneously, the body configuration was expansively modified, enhancing front body torsion rigidity by 30%. A fresh front suspension cradle to lower front body lateral bending, new rear structural supports, and an underbody "V-bar" all assisted in the reduction of the rear lateral bending. Other improvements consisted of the use of a carbon fiber composite radiator housing and support of the rear fender and hatch areas.

There is an improvement of the rear body torsion rigidity up to 22% and rear body vertical bending rigidity up to 30%. Drag coefficient is 0.30, which is 0.29 with the Sport Package, the same as the preceding generation 350Z Coupe. The latest Z also keeps the earlier model's zero front lift and zero rear lift when outfitted with the rear spoiler. Standard perforated discs complete with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) round off the braking hardware.

The optional Sport Package consists of the large diameter 14.0-inch front and 13.8inch rear rotors, in contrast to the 12.6-inch front/12.1-inch rear standard rotors, with four-piston front and two-piston rear aluminum calipers. In the interior, the traditional three-pod cluster with oil temperature, voltmeter and clock are preserved, although the speedometer and tachometer currently also includes an "initial sweep" feature, which comes to life at ignition.

The driver and passenger's seats are both designed with anti-slip materials in the main seating surface. The seats are offered with a choice of leather trim, heater functionally, and electronic four-way adaptable movement. Coming as standard are adjustable dynamic head restraints. Typical inside comfort and convenience attributes include Nissan's Intelligent Key with a power starter button, two 12 volt power outlets, four cup holders, high intensity discharge (HID) dual-function xenon headlights, and a four-speaker stereo.

Synthetic suede and leather-appointed sport seats are added to the Touring version complete with adjustable lumbar support, a Bose audio system with eight speakers, XM Satellite Radio and Bluetooth interface. A touch-screen Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System with XM NavTraffic along with Real-Time Traffic and a 9.3GB Music Box Hard Drive and Interface System for the Apple iPod are all included in an optional Navigation Package.


Included in the presentation is Nissan's award-winning 3.7L VQ37VHR V6 engine in the current Z. This is an identical engine as found in the Infiniti G37 Coupe, and in the latest Z-car application, it will generate 332hp (247kW) and a peak torque of 270lb-ft (366Nm).

The ground-breaking rev-matching downshift feature on the six-speed manual transmission is certain to attract both praises and complaints, as fans lose one more facet of control over the car. The function of "SynchroRev Match" is to automatically control and adapt the speed of the engine when shifting to the exact speed of the subsequent gear position, basically "blipping" the throttle for seamless shifts.

This helps to enhance vehicle stability and smoothness by lowering the usual roughness when the clutch is utilized. A button next to the shifter deactivates the system for drivers who choose to have fuller control of the vehicle and is available as an extra option. Meanwhile, the latest 7-speed automatic receives its own Downshift Rev Matching (DRM) and Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) attributes, which offer manual-like shifting reaction when run in manual mode.

Shift times reach a low of half a second. Drivers can employ either the standard paddle shifters or the shift lever. Projected fuel efficiency is 18mpg in the city and 26mpg on the highway for the six-speed manual version; about 1mpg higher than the retiring 350Z. The same fuel-economy is also anticipated to feature in the automatic.

Press Release

Nissan 370Z

In the first full redesign of the iconic Nissan Z since its re-introduction in 2003, the new Nissan 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 synchronized 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 Nissan 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 sportscar 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 Nissan 370Z builds on the best features of both the first and last generations Z-cars - respectful but not retro, simple yet sophisticated, and unmistakeably Z."

The New Exterior: More athletic, more muscular, 100% Z.

The 2009 370Z's dynamic new styling offers dual benefits - a more aggressive appearance and a lighter, tighter structure for enhanced performance. The new Z's wheelbase is nearly 100mm shorter than the previous generation Nissan 350Z (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 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 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 turn indicator integrated into the Z logo mounted between the front wheel and door.

Nissan 370Z Interior: putting the driver at the heart of the action

The interior design of the new Nissan 370Z continues the Z tradition of enhancing driving pleasure, no matter what the road or traffic conditions offer. Additionally, particular attention has been paid to the quality of the material, as well as the fit and finish.

The traditional 2-seat layout is built around a deeply scooped instrument panel with a full-length centre console separating the driver and passenger's seat. In the rear is an open luggage area with enhanced storage and accessibility.

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.

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 and locking glove compartment has been added.

Life on board has been improved thanks to the addition of an engine start and stop button, larger diameter dials and thanks to the use of premium-feel material on seats, armrest and door trims (depending on grade).

3.7-litre engine: the Z's heart and soul

As its new moniker suggests, the new Nissan 370Z is now powered by a 3.7-litre VQ37VHR engine with VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift). Along with its larger displacement, the new engine gives better power delivery all the way to the 7,000 rpm redline, improved low-end power and more high-end torque, creating an entirely new driving experience. Approximately 35 percent of the engine's parts are new, versus the previous design. Power is rated at 331PS, while torque is 366Nm. Engine output, figures for Europe are subject to homologation.

The new engine is backed by a choice of two new advanced transmissions, both designed to improve driver performance. The newly improved close-ratio 6-speed manual gearbox includes the world's first synchronized down/ up shift rev control system, which allows drivers of any skill level to experience perfectly smooth gear shifts every time. The "SynchroRev Control" function automatically adjusts engine speed when changing gear to the exact speed of the next gear position, essentially "blipping" the throttle to smooth out any down/up shifts.

"This exciting new Z represents the essence of the Nissan brand, just as the original 240Z did nearly 40 years before," said Loing. "It provides passionate performance at an excellent value - just what was needed then and just what sports car enthusiasts are looking for today."

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