The Nissan 370Z has a lineage that goes back to the 240Z of 1969. This was Nissan’s first bespoke sports car aimed specifically at the US market, and it went down a storm, with good looks, reliability and a muscular straight six engine.

Many Z-cars followed, including the excellent twin-turbo 300ZX of 1989. When the 350Z was launched in 2003, it revived the original Zed idea and hit the spot again. The 370Z is very much a natural development of the 350Z.

Both in its spirit and in its execution, the Nissan 370Z is very much a natural progression from the old, much-loved 350Z. Although its styling is more modern and arguably more striking than before, it clearly emanates from the same gene pool and has similar proportions to those of its predecessor. Similarly, the convertible is an evolution of the previous version, but with an updated look and more usable features.

You could easily make the assumption that Nissan has adhered to an age-old rule of car design in this instance – the one that says that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Except that there are several important areas in which Nissan has improved the 370Z, mainly to make it better and/or less raucous to drive. 

As a result, there is a 3.7-litre V6 engine in the nose, and it is attached to a seven-speed paddle-shift automatic gearbox in the case of the GT Pack that's available on the coupe.

Nissan claims also to have improved the Zed’s refinement in every respect. 
At the same time, however, the company has tried hard to keep the old car’s unashamedly butch personality intact. What also remains is the car’s value – it offers plenty of power per pound.

A recent addition to the range is the new Nismo coupe version. This is a range-topping performance version fettled by Nissan's Nismo tuning offshoot, and gets more grunt for the V6 engine along with styling and suspension upgrades. 

Top 5 Sport coupes

  • The stated criteria for the GT86 read like a purist's manifesto: rear-drive, no turbo, ordinary tyres

    Toyota GT86

    1
  • BMW M235i
    The BMW M235i is a rear-wheel-drive turbocharged coupé which rivals the likes of the Porsche Cayman

    BMW M235i

    2
  • Peugeot RCZ R
    The front-drive RCZ R packs a 266bhp turbocharged engine

    Peugeot RCZ R

    3
  • The hot Scirocco that blurs the line between coupé and hot hatch

    Volkswagen Scirocco R

    4
  • Latest TT dares to shake the dust from the memory of the mighty five-cylinder Quattro

    Audi TT RS

    5

First drives

Videos

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Nissan range

Driven this week

  • Car review
    27 February 2015
    The second pure Mercedes-AMG model is a triumph of engineering and design, and should have rivals from Porsche and Audi worried
  • First Drive
    27 February 2015
    Dual motors and a power hike give Tesla's electric family car supercar acceleration - and the rest of the package is as strong as ever
  • Car review
    26 February 2015
    Flagship performance C-Class is more than ever a true rival for BMW's M3, and impresses with both its breadth of ability and its practicality
  • First Drive
    26 February 2015
    The new Renault Megane GT 220 is essentially a toned-down version of the hallowed Renaultsport 275, but does it have the required DNA?
  • First Drive
    20 February 2015
    Remember Mercedes' 6x6 monster off-roader? Well, this is the 4x4 version, and we've driven it.