You're watching a WheelsTV Top 200 Video Test Drive on the 2012 Nissan 370Z.
INTRO: Blending a classic front-engine, rear-drive sports car layout with the latest performance technology and styling, the 2012 Nissan 370Z coupe and soft-top roadster offer up genuine 2-seater driving thrills that are surprisingly affordable.
Highly stylized L-shaped head-and-tail lights define the contemporary look of the 370Z, while the wedge-shaped "notch" rear windows are reminders of the Z's well-established performance pedigree. Coupe models include base, Touring and NISMO, while the drop-top roadster comes in base and Touring.
PERFORMANCE: The 370Z uses a 3.7-liter V6 sending 332 horsepower and 270 pound feet of torque to the rear wheels through either a 6-speed manual transmission or an optional 7-speed automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The track-focused NISMO gets a high-performance version of the V6 delivering 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque through the 6-speed manual transmission.
FUEL ECONOMY: Here are the highest and lowest EPA estimates for fuel economy:
FEATURES: The 2-passenger cabin is unmistakably driver-focused, presenting an uncluttered 3-bay gauge cluster with a center-mounted tachometer. Additional dash mounted gauges are angled toward the driver. The base model's manually adjustable bucket seats favor the driver with additional driver-side adjustments and thigh support.
Opting for the Touring model adds leather-appointed power-heated seating, a Bose sound system and an available hard drive navigation system. The Sport Package available for base and Touring models offers Rays 19-inch super light weight alloy wheels. Those opting for the 6-speed manual with the Sport Package get the industry-leading SynchroRev Match system that provides clean shifts by matching revs to the next gear. The 7-speed automatic gets a similar rev-matching feature for smoother forced downshifting. Meanwhile, the roadster adds wind-in-your-hair fun to the equation with a cloth top that opens or closes in just 20 seconds.
SAFETY: Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, traction control, active head restraints, energy-absorbing steering column, side impact door beams, and front and side impact airbags.
PRICING: Base MSRP for the 2012 Nissan 370Z is $31,910. A range-topping Touring Convertible starts at $42,750.
WARRANTY: The 370Z is backed by a 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
CLOSING: Powerful V6 engines bolstered by industry-leading performance technology and classic two seat appeal, keep the lean and agile 2012 Nissan 370Z at the front of the pack in the mid-priced sports car segment.