The fluid, squat and muscular Nissan 370Z sat patiently waiting on my driveway, preparing itself for a long slog out of Dubai and into the mountains. The weather was still a little warm at the time of our drive so the call was made to head out at the crack of dawn, so we could get the best part of the day done and dusted before we all keeled over from heat exhaustion.
The car is visually more complete that the 350, not only that it looks wider and shorter! Which is odd in the day and age of manufacturers continuing to make cars bigger and heavier at every opportunity. It’s not an optical illusion, either. The 370Z has lost nearly 10cm in the wheelbase and is 7.5cm shorter overall than the 350. It’s back end is over 5cm wider too and it shows. The 350 was an edgy brute of a car, but the new 370 has been to glam school and popped out the other side looking better for it.
So, after a brief period of procrastination and walking around the car, we packed up and headed out. Tanked up, drinks stacked in the boot, cameras charged and our rig car following close behind.
As always when it comes to finding Zen roads in Dubai, you have to head out through the city and aim for the mountains. A boring straight blat through the sand means honking great big trucks are our only friends on the road.
A true rarity in this area – a Shell petrol station. A sign we are sat in Omani territory. So a chance for a quick splash and dash, bag some Mars bars and get back on it.
The run to our destination gave us the chance to soak up the changes on the inside. As you may have guessed the inside has been upgraded substantially. Instead of that cheap placcy feeling the 350 always had, the 370 is a much more inviting space to get your driving hustle on.
Speaking of hustle on, it was time to hit THE road! Quite possibly one of the best roads there is in the UAE to really find a car’s capabilities.
However, first things first. Time to get the shots in the bag! For Luke (fuelzine) it was a bit of an intense experience. Not only did he get to hang out of the back of the rig car but he also had to deal with intense temps and unholy humidity.
As we said earlier – the Z is definitely more complete now, not to mention great looking with the roof tucked away.
With 332bhp spurting through the rear wheels at 7,000rpm you shouldn’t be under any illusion as to how to drive this car: hard! To make that process even more enjoyable, Nissan has specced the car with something called Synchro Rev Control that blips the throttle when you downchange to match the revs. Sadly, this particular feature isn’t present on the automatic version of the 370Z which is the only choice out here in two pedal loving land. Still, the paddles that nestle behind the steering wheel give decent control over the ratios as you try to keep the car neatly balanced through the twisties.
One thing that did surprise me a little about the 370Z was an underlying coarseness in the drivetrain after about 4000rpm. It certainly wasn’t as silky smooth as I was expecting when being pushed hard, however the fluid handling seemed to help mask that issue. Maybe a fruity exhaust note would fix the problem and give the driver a bit more aural pleasure.
Very tasty rims – Had to be said!
The beautiful boomerang-shaped headlights are bigger and slicker than ever before. These are the changes over and above the 350Z that you appreciate immediately.
So the 370Z still has the hooligan touch the 350Z had – it’s just matured a little. It should do really well over here, but sadly the price point drops it right into Cayman/Boxster territory. Oh you fighter – now that would be a tough choice!
So as we close up this piece and shoot back to Dubai – after another quick run up and down THE road – we look back fondly at the 370Z. A great car, a great chassis but sadly, for some people….not a Porsche.