2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition Review by Larry Nutson
Z Car Content Archive
2020 Nissan 370Z
50th Anniversary Edition
By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
It was 1969. My annual visit to the New York Auto Show was not to be missed. Like very many American young men I was deeply engrossed in car culture. Back then the show was held at the New York Coliseum near Columbus Circle in Manhattan.
I’m not recalling right now if I went to the show with my car-buddies, or perhaps with a girl friend and another couple. But, that’s not so important.
Along with all the new sheetmetal, chrome and horsepower, the all-new Datsun 240Z was making its U.S. debut.
I remember first seeing the 240Z and commenting on its attractive coupe body style. To us car-guys, it drew remarks about its resemblance to the ’63-’67 Corvette coupe as well as the Jaguar E-type coupe. This was a good thing for the 240Z. I personally was driving a ’67 Triumph TR4 back then. The 240Z with its good looks and 6-cylinder engine and the thought of more performance made me dream a bit about a new car.
If nothing else the 240Z brought Datsun (Nissan) into the good-looks and fun-to-drive market.
Now here I am fifty years later and I’m driving the latest iteration of a long line of Z-cars from Nissan.
The 50th Anniversary Package pays homage to the Z heritage as well as a tribute to the BRE 240Z race cars. I lived within driving distance of Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park. I recall watching the BRE Datsun 240Z coupes run by Peter Brock and his Brock Racing Enterprises team with the very talented John Morton doing the driving. Morton is legendary and went on to dominate US club racing in his 240Z.
Today’s 370Z is quite the performance car. Under the hood is a 3.7-L V6 that makes 332-horsepower…more than double that of the original Z-car. There’s a choice of a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic transmission. Both are vastly different than the original 240Z’s 4-speed manual.
The 50th Anniversary package is offered in combination with the Sport trim. Exterior trim pays tribute to the BRE livery with a choice of two exterior two-tone color options: White/Red or Silver/Black with bold door stripes. Other exterior features include unique red wheel accents, black outside mirrors, 50th Anniversary side marker decals and 50th Anniversary rear badge. In addition, the standard Sport front chin and rear spoilers have been deleted.
The two-seat cabin features leather-appointed and synthetic suede sport seats with red accents and logos, 50th Anniversary embossing on the seatbacks, leather or Alcantara steering wheel with a top red stripe, 50th Anniversary badges on the tachometer and console, synthetic suede door panel inserts with red stitching, red contrast stitching and piping throughout the interior, dark silver 50th Anniversary kickplates and 4-way power heated seats.
The base price on the 370Z Sport is $33,820 and the 50th Anniversary package adds $2,600. This pricing actually was my first surprise. I was thinking more like in the low $40,000 range.
Around my Chicago neighborhood and on a couple highway drives the engine showed nice response. The manual shifter is precise and firm. In spite of the relatively short wheelbase there’s decent ride quality. Handling is confident with nicely compliant suspension tuning. There’s a bit of road noise in the small-ish cabin. Cargo space under the rear hatch is limited but there’s enough for weekend road trip luggage for two.
The 370Z is a driver’s car. There’s not a lot of ADAS equipment but there is a good level of comfort features. The interior has good space for average size folk. It might be a bit of a test for someone who is large framed.
Check out the 2020 Nissan 370Z HERE
In addition to the 50th Anniversary Edition package, the 2020 370Z Coupe is available in three trim levels – 370Z, 370Z Sport and 370Z Sport Touring. Also available is the 2020 Nissan 370Z NISMO with 350-horsepower, NISMO-tuned suspension, unique exterior panel treatments, 19-inch NISMO super-lightweight forged aluminum wheels by RAYS and more. Prices range from $30,090 to $47,190.
For 2020 the 370Z Roadster has been discontinued.
© 2019 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy