From £26,920
Tweaked and considerably improved by Nissan’s UK chassis engineers

Our Verdict

Nissan 370Z
The 370Z has the pace, looks, kit, value and charm, so what’s the catch?

The Nissan 370Z is seductively honest, entertaining and great value, too. But it’s no long-haul cruiser

What is it?

Of course the Nurburgring is to blame, where manufacturers are obsessed with making sure that their cars can lap the billiard table smooth Tarmac in a marketing-friendly time. And then the car leaves the Nordschleife and its customer starts driving it in Sussex and Cumbria where poorly funded and neglected roads are not smooth. Nissan was getting feedback from owners that its 370Z Roadster didn’t cope as well it should with UK roads and that tyre noise and ride quality should be better.

Instead of going to those technical workshops at the Nurburgring (behind the petrol station that sells ‘Ring-shaped pasta) it went to its engineers at the Nissan Technical Centre in Cranfield, Beds. The roads around Cranfield are typical so are perfect for honing supension settings.

What’s it like?

And here we have the result. The new 2011 model-year 370Z Roadster with revised suspension.

Both front and rear shock absorbers have had their compression and rebound rates changed with the damping force increased. The settings are now essentially the same as those on the GT Edition, which is only available as a coupe. According to the engineers the result is a much more stable tyre contact patch.

That’s not only good for grip, but also good for ride because there’s more of the tyre available to absorb shocks. Body control has been improved without ruining the ride.

We drove the improved 370Z at Goodwood. Not on the circuit, as that would have been hypocritical and pointless, but on the surrounding roads.

You’d need to have both 2010 the new 2011 M/Y cars here for a totally accurate assessment, but in both roof up and down modes the revised car road well and created no more rumble from its tyres than you would expect.

Should I buy one?

The new Z roadster is what it always was: a lot of traditional values wrapped up in a very reasonably priced package. A package that’s now improved thanks to Nissan’s good sense in taking the car to its experts who understand UK road conditions because they live here.

Nissan 370Z Roadster

Price: £31,250; Top Speed: 155mph; 0-62mph: 5.5sec; Economy: 25.2mpg; Co2: 262g/km; Kerb weight: n/a; Engine: V6, 3696cc, petrol; Power: 323bhp at 7000rpm; Torque: 268lb ft at 5200rpm; Gearbox: 6 speed manual (automatic optional)

Join the debate

Comments
10

11 July 2011

Sensible decision - no point having a car which doesn't work in one of its target markets. Now if only they'd thought that way with the new Micra...

12 July 2011

"...the revised car road well and created no more rumble from its tyres than you would expect."

Do you see what he did there..?

:)

12 July 2011

So this model has been developed by their UK department, does this mean it is a UK only specification or is this now being applied to the entire build of European spec 370's?

I know we often pride ourselves in this country for having some of the best chassis engineers in the world (be that MG, Lotus, Jaguar, etc) but how do the rest of the world feel about the set up on our cars in their own countries?

Are we just Brit centric or do these set ups really work well else where? Does a car which deals with the lumps and bumps of the UK's third world roads not feel overly soft on a nice piece of twisty Spanish or Italian tarmac for instance?

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

12 July 2011

[quote catnip]

"...the revised car road well and created no more rumble from its tyres than you would expect."

Do you see what he did there..?

:)

[/quote]

You need to get rid of the carboard standard tyres and fit a set of Dunlops or Michelin PS2's - much more grip, less road noise.

12 July 2011

what tyres are the factory fit?

12 July 2011

[quote catnip]Do you see what he did there..?[/quote]

Yup, I noticed that too. Things like that bug me more than they should maybe. I think that the stuff that appears on the Autocar website is edited more thoroughly before it goes to print.

13 July 2011

will they be offering it as a dealer fit retrospective upgrade to all those test mule driving customers who bought it when first released and complained prompting this upgrade? Nah

13 July 2011

Average MPG under 26mpg? I know it's a quick car but even the Ford Focus RS officially averages a tad over 30mpg. I don't doubt that someone forking out over £30k can afford the fuel and expects poor fuel economy but I bet the risiduals in 5yrs time are poor because the secondhand market is far more sensitive to running costs.

Don't mind this car but it's never interested me either. It just leaves me a bit cold.

The comments section needs a makeover... how about a forum??

13 July 2011

[quote Rich_uk]even the Ford Focus RS officially averages a tad over 30mpg.[/quote]

a 2.5 litre engine is 4mpg better than a 50% larger 3.7 litre engine? not exactly suprising.

17 July 2011

"...a very reasonably priced package..." What world do you live in Autocar? Just how drivers think that £31,250 is a reasonable amount to spend on a car? Still I suppose next to an Evoque it is a "bargain".

  • If you want to know about a car, read a forum dedicated to it; that's a real 'long term test' . No manufacturer's warranty, no fleet managers servicing deals, no journalist's name to oil the wheels...

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