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

  • BMW M4
    The new M4 is powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight six engine that puts out 425bhp and 406lb ft

    BMW M4

    1
  • Audi RS5 coupé
    The hottest 444bhp version of the A5 coupé range closes in on the BMW M3

    Audi RS5

    2
  • Alpina B4 Biturbo
    The B4 is Alpina's answer to the BMW M4

    Alpina B4 Biturbo

    3
  • Lexus RC F

    4

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week