good motoring
Blend of elegance and power
H.Kishie Singh

She is simply beautiful. Why "she"? Such beauty can only exude from a female. It is the type of beauty you really do appreciate. But don’t be fooled by the looks. Under the aluminium bonnet of the Nissan 370 Z, lurks a fire-breathing V-6 3.7 litre engine that pumps out an enormous 333 hp. It is a VQ series engine — the VQ 37 VHR. Nissan VQ engines are rated as the best engines in the world since 1995. That is something to reckon with, and should give confidence to the buyer.

Mated to this engine is a rear wheel drive. For the driving aficionado, this combination is the ultimate. If you can’t drift a car around corners with the steering in opposite lock, there is no fun having 333 horses propelling you at NASA rocket speeds. This is a driver’s car.

 A low centre of gravity provides the car with a glue-like grip on the road
A low centre of gravity provides the car with a glue-like grip on the road

To cut down on body weight, the bonnet, doors, boot are all aluminium as is part of the suspension. The foot pedals are also aluminium.

The widespread use of aluminium on cover parts has not compromised the strength of the car. Reinforcements like bolt on under body braces makes for a very rigid frame, which performs reliably while cornering.

The boomerang-shaped lights, fore and aft, are eye catching. In front the 370 Z has high intensity discharge (HID). The rear portion also has LED lights to give quick and instant illumination to the driver behind you. Added safety is in the way of a high-mounted stop lamp.

What else does it have? Most letters of the alphabet to awe you. ABS with EBD and BA. That is brake assistant, not bachelor of arts. It also has VDC — vehicle dynamic control; SRS airbags — dual in front and sides — and curtains.

Another visually appealing design is the short overhang, both front and rear, which means a short wheel base. Helped by large and wide tyres, the Z is nimble, agile and swift. A low centre of gravity provides a glue-like grip on the road.

The door handles are quirky; they are vertical. The doors open wide. Inside it is strictly a two-seater but it is the luxury that will impress you. Sophisticated, elegant and graceful should describe the interiors. The dashboard is made of a special material called sofilex. The steering wheel is small. Racing car style. The main instruments are visible through the 3-spoke
steering wheel.

Set apart from the main dashboard instruments are the clock, voltage meter and oil temperature gauge. A multi-information
display, which keeps the driver fully informed, is also part of the display.

The steering wheel has tilt adjustment, and the dashboard instruments move with it to provide good visibility. Strangely, there is no telescopic adjustment. Obviously, it is designed for a diminutive and trim Japanese frame, and not for a well-rounded Punjabi tummy.

The seat has electronic adjustment fore and aft. The height adjustment is manual. Funny? No. Why no extra motor for height adjustment?

Another quirky design. The automatic gearbox is activated via paddle shifters. They do not rotate with the steering wheel but stay at the 3 o’ clock – 9 o’ clock position. While driving on a hill road, this may cause some confusion.

Making further good use of the alphabet is the variable valve event lift (VVEL). It is an improvement on the previous known systems. Nissan claims the system improves the air flow into the cylinders, which results in greater power output.

The Syncho-Rev technology is a first in the industry. It simplifies gear shifting at the touch of a button. No more jerky starts.

A smart key operates the doors. Carry it in your pocket, and while within a meter of the car, it activates the door locks. Just pull door handles to open. A single button is the start-stop switch.

The music system, radio, CD and MP3 player are by Bose with eight speakers. The sub-woofer is located in the spare wheel in the rear. Possibly a first in the industry.

The price is Rs 55 lakh for the manual gearbox. The auto transmission is Rs 56 lakh. There is a waiting period of 12 weeks. There is only one Nissan dealership in the area. It is Bhagat Nissan, and that, too, in Mohali.

Happy motoring.