While official pics of Nissan's next instalment in the Z-car story have yet to drop, the suits at Nissan USA were kind enough to let a few select media outlets have their way with a camouflaged 370Z prototype. Two of those outlets have published videos of their encounter with the vinyl-wrapped coupe, and there's a few intriguing nuggets of information contained within them.
Motor Trend editor Ed Loh discovered that the doors and hatch are no longer constructed out of heavy steel, with aluminium likely taking over as the material of choice. Clearly, weight reduction has been a priority for the 370Z's development team.
It's been clear for some time that the 370Z is much shorter in overall length than the current 350Z too, and both Loh and his counterparts from Inside Line agreed that much of the shortening has occurred behind the B-pillar. Wheelbase is now believed to be around 99 inches (2514.6mm), which coupled with the 370Z's wide track should make it much zippier in the handling department.
Although both Motor Trend and Inside Line managed to score some wheeltime in the 370Z prototype, Nissan has gagged them from telling anyone about how it drives. However, it's a foregone conclusion that Nissan's fantastic 3.7-litre VQ37VHR V6 will beat beneath that bonnet and both MT and IL agree that the 370Z will ride on a slightly modified version of the G37 Coupe/V36 Skyline 370GT suspension.
Of course, nobody was game enough to lift that black camo, but it's fairly obvious what we can expect to see come October 29, when official photos are expected to be released. The same basic themes that were introduced by the 350Z in 2002 have been thoroughly refreshed for 2009, with absolutely no sheetmetal being carried over from the old model. The infamous "fishhook" head and tail light lenses are also a dead certainty for the 370Z, however we'll need to wait until the duct tape is peeled away from them before we can say whether that's a good or bad thing.
The enormous wheelarches of the 350Z have been pumped up even more for the 370, and they give the new car a (quite literally) enormous presence on the road. Z-car fans will also be pleased to see a subtle tip of the hat to the 370Z's great-granddaddy, the 240Z, in the rear quarter window and the more rear-biased fastback silhouette. One aspect of the 370Z's design that may not gel so well, however, is that front bumper with its strangely-positioned vertical strakes. We'll know whether they work or not by the end of this month.
Anyway, enough of my yapping. Enjoy the videos.
[Source: Motor Trend]