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City racer

The Nissan 370Z is as much at home zipping down the racetrack as it is on a grocery shopping trip. Running errands was never so much fun.

autos Updated: Feb 11, 2010 01:45 IST
Rahul Kakar

Say hello to the poster boy of gorgeous yet relatively affordable fast cars. It looks stylish from almost every angle and lives up to its looks with the help of a 3.7-litre V6 engine that chugs out 332 bhp and 37.32 kgm of torque via a seven-speed gearbox.

It isn’t surprising then that the way the Nissan 370Z steers and handles is simply brilliant. The Z zips from 0-100 kph in 6.5 seconds and Nissan sure is proud of the car’s near-ideal weight distribution (claimed to be 53 per cent in front and 47 per cent in the rear).

Riding smooth
The 370Z is great fun on twisty roads, combining taut body control with strong grip and communicative steering. It turns into bends sharply. Manual versions will benefit from a traction and stability enhancing limited-slip differential (it’s an option on the automatic). The ride is surprisingly supple, which makes it all that more friendly on Indian roads. But a rather significant caveat that almost undoes all of the 370Z’s good work here is its amount of tyre roar.

Hear it roar
How loud and how intrusive this becomes depends almost entirely on what sort of road surface you’re travelling on. And the six-cylinder engine sounds like an appliance. Sportscars need to sound good, but this one just sounds thrashy.

The 370Z is strictly a two-seater, but there’s plenty of head and legroom. The 370Z’s cabin and driving position is good with snug seats and a nice, chunky steering wheel. Build quality is flawless. There are several useful cabin cubbyholes, including bins behind the seats. But the boot is shallow and the suspension towers intrude into its space. Still, it has more space than other sportscars’ boots and there’s a luggage cover to keep bags out of sight.

Every 370Z comes with alloy wheels, powered seats, climate control, electric windows, keyless engine starting, Xenon headlamps, Bluetooth and a socket for an MP3 player. GT models get heated leather and suede seats, a CD-changer and cruise control.