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370Z: Nissan's Porsche fighter?

Nissan will try to position the 370Z as a Porsche competitor, Automotive News reports.

Automotive News

TOKYO--Nissan will try to position the 370Z as a Porsche competitor.

The follow-up to the venerable 350Z will boast a bigger 3.7-liter engine when it debuts at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month. The goal: position the new two-seater as more of a pure sports car a la Porsche, says Tetsuo Shimada, Nissan's head of marketing in Japan.

"When we launched the current Z in 2002, it was a symbol of Nissan's revival, a kind of brand symbol, plus driving performance," Shimada said. "This time with the 370Z, we are focusing more on the driving performance, as a pure driving sports car."

Targeted rivals include the likes of the Porsche Cayman and Audi TT, he said.

The 370Z is expected to arrive in Japanese showrooms in December and go on sale in the United States shortly thereafter, Shimada said. He declined to give a detailed timetable.

Nissan has not released specifications for the next-generation Z car. But it is widely expected to be lighter and carry a more advanced transmission.

Spy photos show the 370Z with a rounded, more muscular look.

The 2009 350Z price starts at $29,205. The 2009 Porsche Cayman price starts at $50,350. Both prices include shipping.

(Via: Automotive News)