2009 Nissan 370Z Spied  

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Finally, here’s concrete proof that Nissan’s next Z car will be called the 370Z. Our spies spotted a pre-production version – and for the first time ever, they got a glimpse of the badge. It read 370Z, confirming that under the bonnet of the two-seater coupé is a 3.7-litre V6. This is the same unit as used by Nissan luxury offshoot Infiniti. As a result, the 370Z promises to be quicker and more powerful than the 350Z, with around 325bhp on tap – up from 309bhp. We have already spotted test mules for the new model disguised as a 350Z (above), but our spy pictures reveal a distinctive new look – and its shark fin-style headlamps have clearly been inspired by those fitted to the company’s Maxima luxury saloon. The handsome four-door made its debut at last month’s New York Motor Show (Newsweek, Issue 1,005), and the Z car will share its smart projector-style headlamps, with a row of fashionable LED lights included, too.Our shots show Nissan’s designers have taken an evolutionary approach elsewhere, and you can clearly make out the diffuser-style bumper at the rear, complete with twin tailpipes and flush-fitting light clusters. The front end of the car was partially disguised, but expect a characteristically smooth nose, incorporating a large lower air intake. Inside, there’s improved trim and a trio of alloy-trimmed instrument dials ahead of the driver. The 370Z is set to be revealed officially at November’s Los Angeles expo, before hitting UK dealers in 2009. It could also benefit from upgrades from Nissan’s Nismo performance division. The tuning outfit will be familiar to Japanese buyers and enthusiasts around the world, yet is little known in the UK. According to insiders, the firm is planning to widen its reach – but only if it can engineer performance improvements rather than cosmetic enhancements alone.

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