Ignition: Remember The Nissan 370Z? Well, You Should

By Blake Z. Rong | August 28, 2012
You know, between all this kerfluffle this year of the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S facing off against the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Mazda Miata, Porsche Cayman, a Radio Flyer wagon piloted by that bully down the street, etc., there's one "surprisingly old-school entry" that's been surprisingly missing. The Nissan 370Z was first introduced in 2008 and has defied critics and enthusiasts alike by continuing to not suck. Carlos Lago is reminded of its ongoing non-suckness on this week's episode of Ignition, on the Motor Trend YouTube channel. This year, the 370Z gets a healthy dose of 332 horsepower and a limited-slip differential, forged wheels and a six-speed manual just as God and Yutaka Katayama (one and the same, for some) intended. It's not delicate or precise like a Porsche Boxster, but it's got a ton of grip and neutral handling—and it's even manly, unlike your panty-waisted FRSs and Miatas and anything with less than 300 horsepower. Its Syncro RevMatch works well, and it's even "kind of fun." It's starting to fall apart too, as Carlos says, at a lithe 8,800 miles in its life. And what's more manly than fixing your own car? It's hard to believe that the 370Z, shark-nosed and haunch-heavy as it currently is, has been with us for 4 years now. Nissan is working on a successor to the 370Z, which is rumored to have a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. That could be cool, but that could also be a shame. No doubt it'll be more efficient and bring it in line with the FR-S and Miata, but if anything, a Z without six pistons under its hood is like a Challenger without a Hemi, a Porsche 911 with a front-mounted engine, or a Radio Flyer that isn't red. The "rough and tumble" sports car ought to live on, even if it is in an unexpected place as a company that gives us the Cube. There ought to be a step between a four-cylinder sports car and the GT-R.