It has a long history of high performance, big engined Z models, going back to the Datsun 240Z days some 40 years ago.
So a brief outing in the latest Z model, the 370Z GT Edition. This hard top two door, two seater coupe costs £35,025 with its six speed manual gearbox but a seven-speed paddle shift automatic option is available.
The 370Z GT is also available as a convertible but not with the latest Edition specification. All 370Zs are powered by 3.7-litre, V6 petrol engine with 323bhp but more importantly 268lb ft of torque, just what is needed in terms of ‘grunt’ for a muscle car. Drive is classic sports car, through the rear wheels.
The Edition version of the 370Z GT has been brought to market to celebrate Nissan’s global success in GT racing and to mark 40 years of Z in the UK. In addition to the added specification, which includes special body colours, unique GT stripes and darkened 19-inch RAYS forged alloy wheels, the suspension has been tweaked here in the UK to improve the balance between ride quality and handling and that improvement in ride quality was immediately noticeable.
Nissan sell on average ten 370Zs in the UK a month, not big numbers by any means but significant in this specialist market sector. The 370Z impresses with its engine response, its immediate availability of torque so it is fast but flexible, ideal for quick overtaking or pottering around in stop start town traffic. Top speed is limited to 155mph and zero to 60mph takes just 5.4 seconds.
Of course there is a price to pay for this performance. Fuel consumption is officially 26.6mpg and my brief country road test drive figure was 26.2mpg. However the 262g/km of CO2 emissions means a top band road tax cost of £1,030 for the First Year rate reducing to £475 for the second year onwards.
Classic shape and powertrain delights Company car drivers, an unlikely purchase, will pay the maximum 35 per cent Benefit-in-Kind charge. Its muscular styling, sharp handling and responsive engine plus a high level of equipment all for a competitive price are good enough reasons to buy this latest 370Z.
Thankfully Nissan are smart enough to acknowledge there is still a market for cars of this type and have not conceded totally to the ‘mean and green brigade’ who would have us all driving around in supposed eco friendly electric cars, which of course Nissan also makes.
Nissan 370Z GT Edition 2-Door, 2-Seat Coupe £35,025.
Engine/transmission: Front 3.7-litre, V6, petrol, 323bhp, 268lb ft of torque, 6-speed manual rear wheel drive.
Performance: 155mph limited top speed, 0-60mph 5.4 seconds, 26.6mpg (26.2mpg on test), CO2 262g/km, VED road tax £1,030 First Year rate then £475 per annum, BIK company car tax 35%. Insurance group: 46.
For: Muscular styling, responsive high torque engine, slick transmission, classic sports car rear wheel drive layout, sharp handling, improved ride quality, high equipment level, well priced.
Against: High tax costs, poor rear quarter visibility.