Nissan 370Z - Never change a winning team

Pete Mait

Sports cars have fallen on hard times as oil prices and the global downturn have caused a public rethink. So not the best of timing for the debut of a new sports model. Yet the slightly frivolous concept has one non-financial sweetener for any manufacturer: it's an image enhancer.

We should make it clear that we're not talking about the premiere league of sports cars here but rather the more affordable everyman variety in the shape of a Porsche Cayman or the new Artega GT.

The Nissan 350Z was a success right from the word go. Thanks to the hype generated by the video game 'Need for Speed' and matching film 'The Fast and the Furious', the 350Z advanced to a favourite amongst the amateur tuning brigade and has won a special place in the affections of that extremely important segment: the younger driver. So Nissan have trodden very gingerly with the revamp of Japan's answer to the Porsche.

The first photo to be published of the 370Z shows a clear family resemblance to its predecessor. Important styling elements such as the vertical door handles as well as the characteristic tapering tail end have been retained. Let's hope the same goes for the fan club.