Nissan 370Z features rev matching manual transmission

Amid a maelstrom of flashing lights and the loudest, most bass-heavy music we've ever heard, Nissan rolled the Z onto the stage.

2009 Nissan 370Z
Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

After many leaks and private unveilings, Nissan officially unveiled its all-new 370Z Coupe.

Amid a maelstrom of flashing lights and the loudest, most bass-heavy music we've ever heard, Nissan rolled the Z onto the stage. We have to say that it looks even better in person than in any of the photos we've seen up to this point. Although the silhouette is similar to the 350Z Coupe and the essence of the Z-car is still there, the 370Z Coupe is a full redesign, with a shortened wheel base, revised proportions featuring a more rakish roofline, and a new drive train.

Putting power to the rear wheels is a six-speed SynchroRev Match manual transmission, which is the worlds first synchronized downshift rev matching system. The system "blips" the throttle on downshifts and upshifts, matching engine speed to the next chosen gear, smoothing out gear changes. The driver still has to engage the clutch and move the gear lever, but the computer handles the rest. For those who can't even handle that much, a seven-speed fully automatic transmission is also available with paddle shifters.

Nissan says the new Z has less weight and more power, a combination that always adds up to more speed. Its 3.7-liter DOHC V-6 a version of the same mill that powers the Infiniti G37, but in this incarnation the output is 332 horsepower and 270 pound feet of torque. The price you pay for power is 26 highway miles per gallon of premium fuel, up one mpg over the 2008 350 Z Coupe's best rating.

The Z's two-seater cockpit receives a revised design that features larger gauges, a more spacious rear storage area, and a driver's seat that is different from the passenger's, designed for easier actuation of the pedals. Nissan's Intelligent Key with push-button starter is now standard.

There are only two trim-level for the new Z, the 370Z and the 370Z Touring. The Touring model adds heated power leather seats and an 8-speaker Bose audio system with Bluetooth, amongst other small interior tweaks. Additionally, there are two option packages: the Sport Package, with 19-inch RAYS forged wheels and Bridgestone Potenza tires, aerodynamic front and rear spoiler, larger Nissan Sport Brakes, SynchroRev Match (6-speed manual transmission only) and Viscous Limited Slip Differential; and the Navigation Package, with hard drive-based Nissan Navigation System with 9.3 GB of storage space for music and iPod connectivity.

See all coverage of the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show.

 

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