Thursday 9 October 2008

2010 Nissan 370Z caught singing in the rain

Updated: 12/10/08

Nissans replacement for the aging 350Z sports car has been spied in prototype form, finishing high speed testing at the Nurburgring. This follows extensive testing in California and Arizona earlier this month, according to sources inside Nissan. Previous mules were wearing heavily altered 350Z bodyshells.

Expected to make it's debut in L.A on the 19th November 2008, the 370Z shows subtle changes when quickly compared to its 350Z predecessor. However, closer examination shows a completely revised body featuring new bumpers, arrow-head shaped headlights, more pronounced wheel-arches, new rocker panels, new tail-gate and new tail lights. The roofline appears similar to the GT-R supercar with a flat, steeply sloped roof, thick B-pillar and small rear quarter window.

The 370Z will produce 328bhp (333PS/245 kW) from the 3.7 litre VQ37VHR V6 engine seen in numerous Nissan models, Infiniti G37 and FX37. This will be mated to a six speed manual gearbox or a seven speed automatic with paddle shift controls.

It's not a huge seller in volume terms – Nissan only sells around 1,000 units a year in the UK, mostly coupes – but officials admit it punches well above its weight in brand exposure.

The plan is to link the 370Z to the success of the GT-R to project Nissan as a sporty brand, as well as one which specialises in SUVs. And of course, the company sells plenty of Z models in America, the model's biggest market.

There is some talk of developing a new, smaller sports car to slot beneath the 370Z possibly based upon the 2006 URGE concept. The 370Z will land in the UK in April/May 2009, when it’s likely to carry a price tag starting between £28,000 - £30,000. The coupe will be launched first but a roadster is likely to follow.

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