2018 Nissan 370Z: Classic Sports Car In A Modern Wrapper

The 2018 Nissan 370 represents the sixth generation of the Nissan Z-Car line. It was introduced as a 2009 model, so the current 2018 370Z is the tenth model year of the current platform. As the two-seater sports car segment has continued to steadily shrink over the past ten years, Nissan has seen no urgency to replace the current model.

Sales figures for July 2017 show that the two-seater segment is led by the Chevrolet Corvette with 1,930 sales, followed by the Mazda MX-5 Miata and its sibling the Fiat 124 Spider with 1,447, then the Toyota 86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ triplets with 1,027, and the Nissan 370Z in last place with 441 units sold. Sports cars have it tough in this SUV-dominated market!

The Z-Car Has A Long & Illustrious History

Introduced in the United States as a 1970 model, the original Datsun 240Z was a successful halo car for Nissan’s Datsun brand here. The Z-Car sold between 40,000 and 50,000 units per year in the US during its first few years on the market. It offered striking looks, excellent performance, and a low price. The 240Z was a sort of budget Jaguar XK-E, with its long, sculpted hood, fastback roofline, and inline six-cylinder engine. The first Z-Car put Nissan/Datsun on the map in the US as a serious carmaker.

The succeeding second and third generations of the Z-Car were affected by the demands of safety and emissions regulations, becoming less powerful and heavier. The fourth-generation 300ZX became a sophisticated GT car, but the yen/dollar ratio worked against it and made it unaffordable, with a 1996 price of $50,000. Sales dwindled, and the Z-Car went on hiatus, with none sold here between 1997 and 2002.

The Z-Car returned to the US in 2002 as the fifth-generation Nissan 350Z, with a starting price of $26,000. It had been greatly simplified, going back to the roots of the original 1970 240Z. This was the predecessor of the current generation, on which the 2018 370Z is based.

What’s New On The 2018 Nissan 370Z

The 2018 Nissan 370Z is available as both a coupe and a roadster with a folding convertible top. Both models add exterior revisions that include dark headlight treatments, dark tinted rear lights, blackout rear lower body panels, and new 19” alloy wheels. Manual transmission-equipped models feature a new high performance Exedy clutch. Two additional audio system speakers have been added, for a total of six. A new color is offered for 2018: Passion Red.

A new Heritage Edition package is offered on the base 370Z. Harking back to the look of the original 1970 240Z, the Heritage Edition is available in Chicane Yellow with black outside mirrors and gloss black graphics, or Magnetic Black with gloss silver graphics. Both versions come with contrasting yellow interior trim.

Three Models, Two Engines, Many Trim Levels

The 2018 370Z is available as Coupe, high-performance Coupe NISMO, and Roadster. The Coupe is available in four trim levels: Base 370Z, Sport, Sport Tech, and Touring. The Coupe NISMO comes in a single trim level. The Roadster is offered in Base, Touring, and Touring Sport trims.

The Coupe and Roadster are equipped with a 3.7L V6 engine with 332 horsepower. The Coupe NISMO comes with an uprated 3.7L V6 with an output of 350 horsepower.

All 370Zs are rear-wheel drive. Transmission options include a six-speed manual, or a seven-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

2018 Nissan 370Z pricing starts at $29,990 for the six-speed manual Base Coupe and tops out at $49,400 for the Roadster Touring Sport with automatic transmission.

The 2018 Nissan 370Z Is The Perfect Car For A Nostalgia Trip

The 2018 370Z is about as close as you can get to those legendary sports car days of the 1970s, when cool-looking cars with seats for two were all the rage with twenty-something baby boomers just starting out in life. It is basic, it is direct, and it will take you back. Take one for a ride and see if it speaks to you!

About The Author

Stephen Fogel

Stephen follows the global automotive industry on a daily basis, including new model announcements, new technologies, sales trends, and the latest in "green" cars.