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Future models - Nissan - 370Z

More 370Z facts emerge

Unveiled... sort of: Nissan gave a hint of what its 350Z coupe replacement could look like via this curious teaser in Portugal last week.

A new body, drivetrain, interior are the main changes to Nissan's next-gen Z-car

19 May 2008

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in PORTUGAL

NISSAN’S showcase of its global model range in Portugal this month included a teaser 'sculpture' of the Z34-series '370Z' sportscar, the side profile of which semi-revealed behind a tightly-drawn fabric wall hanging.

Earmarked for a late 2008 debut, most likely at the Los Angeles auto show in California, the two-seater rear-wheel drive coupe and convertible will be powered by a uprated version of the new VQ37VHR 3.7-litre V6 as found in the V36 Skyline/Infiniti G37.

In the latter car, power and torque outputs are rated at 245kW at a heady 7000rpm and 363Nm at 5200rpm respectively. Aiding these is Nissan’s new variable valve technology it calls VVEL – Variable Valve Event and Lift – that is supposed to offer improvements to engine response, power and fuel economy.

A key change will be the implementation of Nissan’s new seven-speed automatic transmission, courtesy of subsidiary JATCO. It will join the standard-issue six-speed manual gearbox as an option.

The 370Z will also be a main proponent of Nissan’s “Super Evolution” styling philosophy. This translates to little dramatic visual change overall, but big detail alterations.

Most obvious is the adoption of tall, longer and narrower headlights that now feature an L-shaped design, which flow into larger and more bulbous wheel arches.

12 center imageLeft: What the next-generation Z coupe could look like. Digital image: Chris Harris.

There is now more of a ‘Coke Bottle’ upsweep to the window line, rising to a hockey stick-style kink in the C-pillar, while the rear has a hint of the striking Alpine A310 sports car produced in France between 1971 and 1984.

Speculation suggests that the wheelbase will be shorter than the 350Z’s 2550mm item, while Nissan’s E-platform architecture – formally known as the FR-L Front-engine, Rear-wheel drive, Large and FM for Front Mid-ship – underpins the 370Z.

It can also be found underneath a number of Nissan/Infiniti models, including the Skyline/G sedan and coupe, Stagea wagon, FX and EX SUVs and M sedan flagship.

Inside, there will be an all-new dashboard trimmed in significantly higher-quality material than the current model. This will address one of the most persistent criticisms of the 350Z since its early 2003 rollout.

Rumours are also circulating that Renault’s advanced new 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel may eventually be offered in the 370Z.

This 195kW powerplant can deliver in excess of 550Nm of torque, so there should be enough performance to match most Z-buyers’ expectations.

Nissan will not comment on whether the two-seater convertible will join the 370Z range from the outset late this year, or wait to surface sometime during 2009.

Australian sales should commence sometime in the middle of 2009, following a debut at next year’s Melbourne International Motor Show in March.

The outgoing 350Z has proven to be a success for Nissan, with last year’s re-engineered model bumping sales up by 71 units to 604.

Pent-up demand in 2003 drove coupe sales to a record 1662 units in 2003, with numbers dropping to 951 in 2004 (despite the introduction of the roadster), and 643 vehicles in 2005.

Read more:

Nissan to apply GT-R power to next-gen ‘370Z’

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