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Nissan 370Z Roadster engines, drive and performance

2010 - 2014 (change model)
Performance rating: 5 out of 55.0

Written by Tim Bowdler Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

Under the bonnet is a 3.7-litre 331bhp V6. It rumbles into life when you press the neat engine start/stop button and once you get going it’ll reward you with effortless acceleration – 0-62mph takes just 5.3 seconds. The standard gearbox is a six-speed manual but it’s not the slickest transmission around and – along with a stiff clutch – makes driving at slow speeds or in traffic a chore.

However, the weighty gearshift goes with Nissan’s claims that this is a sports car in the old-fashioned tradition. There are huge reserves of power, even higher up the rev range, but it’s always delivered smoothly and predictably. GT manual models come with the Synchro Rev Control (SRC) as standard. A seven-speed automatic with steering-column-mounted paddles that allow you to change gear manually are also available but, annoyingly, they aren’t fixed to the wheel.

You won’t feel particularly relaxed behind the wheel of the 370Z Roadster because it demands your full attention. It has plenty of grip but if you do push it hard the tail will kick out until the very effective traction control system puts you back into line. It feels composed especially when accelerating out of corners but you do find yourself wrestling with the car most of the time.

There’s almost no body lean in the corners which means this car is entirely happy on smooth, sweeping B-roads. On wet or poorly surfaced roads, however, the traction control light on the dashboard will be working overtime as it tries to rein in the spinning wheels when accelerating hard. The steering is weighty and provides plenty of feedback and the brakes are powerful and progressive.