It’s rare that a car can make this big a splash so late in its life cycle, but a $10,000 price cut on a $40K car will raise some eyebrows. That is exactly what Nissan did with the 370Z this year, launching a back-to-basics Enthusiast Edition in Coupe form for $29,998, with a $1,740 destination fee. The 370Z has been on the market in its current form since 2009, and has delivered a quintessential sports car experience via rear-wheel drive dynamics, sharp handling and V6 power.
The heart of the 370Z is Nissan’s VQ37VHR 3.7L aluminum V6 with variable valve timing that pumps out 332 hp at 7,000 rpm and 276 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm. It has the power delivery characteristic of so many great naturally aspirated engines, revs climbing steadily, then really coming into its own only once you eclipse 5,000 rpm, where the variable timing kicks in and delivers peak power. That surge can make it feel a little underwhelming at lower revs, so note that you should simply keep this car above 5,000 rpm. Always.
The shame of it is that without the Nismo exhaust, the engine doesn’t quite resonate with me, and I wasn’t alone. While I thought it sounded a bit like a giant dustbuster, my mother-in-law said she felt like she was riding at the back of an airplane. I hope it wasn’t the smell. Once you get into the power band, though, the mechanical fury starts to build and masks some of the low-rpm groaning. You can get a dealer-installed Nismo cat-back exhaust that delivers a more aggressive sound and a slight power gain, but it’s a pricey option at $2,939.
However, this is one opinion, and Justin Pritchard offers a dissenting opinion and the chance to listen to the Z’s engine noises in his video review. Let us know what you think in the comments.