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)