Riding bikes and not driving cars is my favourite hobby for the weekend. Yes, inspite of the fact that I write about cars so much, I am not interested in them as I am in bikes. The thrills of open air riding and cutting lanes (of course with the turn signals on), riding past heavy traffic has a charm of its own. Last weekend, I happened to ride a Suzuki GS150R and also a Yamaha Enticer. Both are totally in a different world of their own however just the very fact that I get to ride these machines is what gets me excited. So when the chance came for driving a sports car machine in India, I was game for it. The machine needs no introduction as it is a world famous one. Yes, you guessed it right. It is the Nissan 370Z in India and I am about to embark on a Nissan 370Z in India test drive for you guys. Fasten your seat belts and let the thrills of open air motoring take over.
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Way back in 2008, after the famous Tokyo Drift movie showcased the drifting potentials of the Nissan 350Z, Nissan brought in a new model to replace the car. This is the Nissan 370Z that we have in India now. Unfortunately a full review of this car wasn’t possible due to the very fact that it attracts so much attention that I couldn’t get space enough to check out its capabilities without having to worry, who would come in the way of the drift. Anyways, the Nissan 370Z is a radically designed car however not much differentiates it from its predecessor. Moreover, the car that I had on test with me is a coupe and not a convertible where open air motoring can be down. But then driving around in a sports car is more fun and almost similar to driving an open top vehicle. The first look of this car mesmerized me. It may look like small car in pictures but then it is really big. It has got a wheelbase of 2550 mm. The boomerang shaped head lamps along with the GTR styled air dam are uber cool. The sharply raked bonnet also is good and incorporates European spec pedestrian safety standards. 19 inch Rayz alloy wheels along with the Z logo on the side also doing double duties as turn indicator is icing on the cake. Where the BMW Z4 looks like a shark on the prowl, the 370Z is a dolphin in contrast. Nissan says that aero-dynamism was one of the main things on which the new Nissan 370Z has been built upon. Its drag coefficient is as low as 0.30. I am sure that anyone driving or atleast looking at this car would certainly have a check on the door handles. Man, they are amazing looking as well as chrome garnished. The rear portion features an integrated spoiler and tail lamps which look exactly the same as the head lamps. Lightning bolt anyone? There is a large single wiper doing duties of cleaning the rear glass. Twin tail pipe diffusers at the rear also ensure that the sports part is taken care of.
The common feature to be found on all Nissans, the keyless entry system is also present in the Nissan 370Z in India. Crouch into the car and you would be disappointed, not due to the lack of space, but due to the cabin quality. As much as you would be drooling over the car’s exteriors, the interiors wouldn’t even make you go wow. The 3 spoke steering wheel which is rightly contoured gets paddle shifts behind it for the auto version whereas the usual audio control, cruise and Bluetooth sync are available as standard. The power window switches reminded me of the Maruti SX4 which I test drove recently. The engine stop start is located on the central console. There are AC vents near the door opener handle inside. Somehow, the car feels a generation behind in front of the BMW Z4. There is a cup holder for the driver but not for the co-passenger. The anti-submarine bucket seats are comfortable but not so comfortable are the seat adjustments which unlike other cars is at the back of the seats. The drilled aluminium pedals with good spacing between them feel perfectly at home for a sports car. Three gauges in the dashboard house the rpm meter in the center, speedo to the right and fuel, temperature gauges to the left. Apart from that, in the central console, there are three separate gauges. One shows the temperature of the coolant, the other shows the battery voltmeter and the third displays the time. There is a huge glove box in the center as also two bottle holders. Automatic climate control and a 6 CD changer BOSE audio system complete the features list. 230 liters of storage space is what one gets if you want to own a Nissan 370Z in India. The whole instrument cluster tilts once the steering wheel is tilted. A novel feature indeed.
Ride and handling is one part which is said to be enhanced in the new Nissan 370Z in India. Been a rear wheel drive car, it is natural to expect this car to engage the driver in some tail sliding antics. And tail sliding it did on the small time that I got to spend with it. This car gets the four link aluminium alloy suspension at the rear and in the front, double wishbone alloy suspension. Needless to say, it is stiffly sprung but then I didn’t feel the ride quality to be amiss. For one, it is perfectly suited to our roads. Were it for the perfectly laid roads in Germany, then it could have posed a problem. Handling is at par though not BMW type razor sharp. Speaking of BMW, the steering wheel is also accurate but then not so much as the Bavarian. Unlike the Germans, there isn’t a host of electronic nannies to take care of the wheel spin and there is only the VDC stability control and guess what, you can turn it off for some wheel spinning antics. NVH unfortunately is on the higher side and no, I am not referring to the howl of the V6 engine. It is rather the road or tyre noise. So much so that I am sure, that if I or anyone else were to spend a full day with this car, then they would be tired. The engine in the meanwhile just purrs like a kitten. It doesn’t take on a sinuous blast even when revved hard.
For the new model Nissan 370Z in India, Nissan Motors have provided two transmission options. One is the 7 speed automatic which I had with me and the other is a 6 speed manual version. The kerb weight of this car is only 1500 kgs. Nissan have granted this car a 3.7-litre V6 engine with VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift) which makes 332 Bhp at a lofty 7000 rpm whereas the peak torque of 370 Nm is developed at 5000 rpm. I am not sure how but then Nissan have given this car good driveability as well as the upper end punch. Unlike other sports car, you don’t have to rev the nuts off this car for extracting the performance that one wants. On the contrary, a light tap on the pedal is all that is needed. The engine is indeed a gem in this regard. The gearbox also deserves a special mention here as it downshifts when required and even upshifts are silky smooth. The gear ratios also complement the engine and they are all nicely spaced out. Brakes for India are the Akebono aluminium caliper with 4 pistons at the front whereas the rear one gets twin rotors with two pistons. Braking feel is progressive after the initial wooden feeling. Safety is taken care by 4 air bags, collapsible steering column, 3 point seat belts and side intrusion beams. Can’t say about fuel efficiency as this the Nissan 370Z in India test drive and not review. However expect this car to return about 5 kmpl in city and 9-10 kmpl on the highway.
After the test drive done and feeling like a star, I am back in the cool confines of my office room. Sitting down to think about the car, I feel that it is a good drifting tool. After all, there wouldn’t be many automobile aficionados present, who wouldn’t have seen the Fast and Furious series of movies. The Nissan 370Z in India is available in only two variants and the two variants differ on the basis of their transmission options. The manual Nissan 370Z price in India starts at Rs 53.5 lakhs whereas the automatic model goes for a lakh more. All these prices are ex-show room, Mumbai. As for me, I am already back to humming “At the starting of the week……………”.
Technical specifications of Nissan 370Z
Engine details: 3696 cc DOHC 24-valve V6 with VVEL
No. of Cylinders: 6
Maximum Power: 332 Bhp at 7000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 370 Nm at 5000 rpm
Valve Configuration: DOHC
Valves Per Cylinder: 4
Fuel Supply System: ECCS
Bore x Stroke: 95.5 x 86.0
Compression Ratio: 11.0:1
Transmission Type: 7 speed Automatic/ 6 speed manual
Gear box: 7 Speed/ 6 speed
Front Suspension: 2-link double-wishbone aluminum-alloy suspension with aluminum subframe
Rear Suspension: 4-link aluminum-alloy suspension
Steering Type: Hydraulic power assisted with Rack and pinion
Turning Radius (wheel base): 5.2 m
Front Brake Type: Ventilated discs
Rear Brake Type: Hydraulic discs
Mileage-City (kmpl): 5.0 (estimated)
Mileage-Highway (kmpl): 10.0 (estimated)ss
Fuel Type: Petrol
Fuel Tank Capacity (litres): 72
Tyre Size: 245/40R19 94W, 275/35R19 96W
Wheel Size: 19 x 9J RAYZ , 19 x 10J RAYZ
Seating Capacity: 2
No of Doors: 2