The upgrades to Nissan's nimble 370Z sports car may be subtle, but they should still be enough to keep keen drivers smiling.
For the 2018 model year, the standard model will be getting a number of external aesthetic upgrades that until now were exclusive to the range-topping NISMO model. These include tinted headlamps, a black rear bumper treatment and matching door handles.
Nissan is also adding another choice to the existing exterior color palette -- a sharp Metallic Red -- and has redesigned the 19-inch alloy wheels that will now come on the car as standard.
However, the big change comes in the transmission tunnel. While the car will be retaining its 3.7-liter 328hp naturally aspirated V6 power plant, it is getting a high-performance EXEDY clutch (when specified with the six-speed manual, rather than seven-speed automatic gearbox). It will make changing up and down more precise and reduce the amount of pedal effort required. When paired with the car's Synchro Rev Control (the 307Z is the only car in its class that offers a rev-matching feature for blipping the throttle on the down-change on a manual transmission), it should make for even sharper driving and control.
At a time when more and more carmakers are abandoning the manual transmission altogether in favor of sequential, automatic or dual-clutch paddle shifting systems, Nissan should be applauded for "keeping it real" and ensuring that those that want it can still have some analog, engaging fun when driving.
And while the clutch and rev-matching system are now standard, Nissan is also offering a few new optional extras including its premium NissanConnect infotainment system, which incorporates satellite navigation, a DVD player and reversing camera.
"For nearly half a century, Nissan's Zcar series has built a cult following with sports car fans with a passion for performance and quality," said Ryan Gains, Chief Marketing Manager, Segment and Sports Cars, Nissan Europe. "The Nissan 370Z MY18 remains true to this legacy, further elevating driving dynamics and classic design to new levels."