These are the first official pictures of the hotly anticipated Nissan 370Z coupe, which goes on sale early next year.
Very much an evolution of the now six-year old 350Z, the essential proportions and curved roof of the Z car remains the same, but its shape is deliberately tighter, tauter and more squat than its forebear.
That’s because the new 370Z rides on a shorter wheelbase than the outgoing model in an effort to improve the car’s agility.
In fact, Nissan is so confident in the 370Z’s dynamics that it won’t be retuning the chassis and suspension for European roads. The company doesn’t think it will need it.
Like its predecessor, the 370Z will still come with two seats and rear wheel drive. The badge signifies an increase to the V6 engine’s capacity: from 3.5- to 3.7-litres.
An existing version of that same 3.7-litre V6 delivers 326bhp in the US-market Infiniti G37. We expect it to be modestly retuned to offer slightly more power in Nissan’s new coupe.
The new Z could also get an aluminium roof and doors, reducing weight, boosting efficiency and further ensuring that it’s significantly faster than the old 309bhp 350Z.
As before a six-speed manual gearbox is expected, but now there will be the option of a seven-speed paddle-shift automatic too.
A diesel version – ready to rival the Audi TT TDI – could be on the cards later in the 370Z’s lifespan. Nissan is known to be working on an oil-burning V6.
There will undoubtedly be a roadster model hot on the heels of the coupe; expect this late in 2009.