Under the gentle dusting of wildfire ash, Nissan’s ad agency, TBWA/Chait/Day along with Edmund’s Insideline unveiled Nissan’s 370Z for the first time in North America. Legions of Z-car die-hards, a few GT-R guys and even a Nissan designer were out in full force.
We were on hand to snap some photos of the new 332-hp 370Z, chat with a Nissan interior designer and, of course, eat some free gorditas. The 370Z arrives on the scene with a new smaller version of the FM chassis, lighter, but more powerful. While not a huge departure on the outside, the new car is clearly smaller, but wears some big mean Potenza RE050’s, sports 26 additional ponies and a few new techno-goodies. We already told you about the world’s first synchronized downshift rev matching system for the 6-speed manual, but an ‘S-Mode’ button to the upper right of the shifter [complete with a little graphic of the double-H shifter gate], and an ‘Active Diff Switch’ in the spare tire hold leave us intrigued.
Though probably the biggest improvement in the new Z is the dynamite interior. More spacious and with more seat travel [to accommodate you lanky folks!]. We spoke to Hase, a Nissan interior designer and he told us about the major work they did to get the interior right. He was very upfront with us and said he knows the criticism the 350Z received for its interior and said his team set about on mission to bring the 370Z up to par with modern sports cars. We’d say they got it right. When asked about the similarities in design inside & out with the Maxima, he added that the interior design team on the Z was separate from that of the Max, but they both share common design themes that portend the new direction at Nissan.
Make sure you check out a video of the event from StreetFire.net. We’ll be getting you more updates and official specs this week at the official LA Auto Show unveiling.
Click through for the high-res image gallery and the video.
2009 Nissan 370Z Unveiling in LA:
Senior Editor: Kap Shah