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The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

'Pure driving fun' - driving Nissan's soulful 370Z

2017-11-24 08:20

Image: Wheels24 / Sergio Davids

Janine Van der Post

Cape Town - I'm a die-hard Nissan GT-R fan, though the 370Z has a rather a special place in my heart too.

Nissan's iconic roadster has a rich, racing heritage from its inception in 1969 as the FairladyZ or the Datsun 240Z when it was exported.

Looking at the 2017 version, launched earlier in SA, you can't help but reflect on its origins; Nissan has truly kept the roadster's legacy going.

I recall attending both the 350Z and 370Z launches in South Africa many moons ago, and I'll never forget the sheer driving pleasure both offered, especially in drop-top guise.

Open-air motoring at its best with a naturally raw sound to the engine, while throwing out the tail on some of Durban's glorious open roads with my late colleague Morgan Naidoo. Man, did we have a great time and enjoyed the cars we were driving. I suppose that's ultimately what the 370Z is about - pure driving fun.

I wouldn't exactly call the 370Z a baby GT-R but they're definitely family, that's for sure. There are similarities in the cabin design, the instrument cluster and the way the cockpit is driver-focused. It's draped in leather and carbon-fibre, has SatNav, Bluetooth, USB and AUX ports, and a 9.3GB harddrive to store all your favourite music for extended road trips.

About to go for a spin behind the wheel of the refreshed @nissan #370Z at the @redstarraceway. #livelifeinthered

A post shared by Sergio Davids (@davids_sergio) on

But more importantly Nissan has done a fine job keeping this car mated to a manual gearbox (though there's an auto option too), naturally-aspirated version with close gear ratios. I love that the pedals are closely positioned to each other as well, as it makes for great shifting and that gearbox is just glorious. It has a race car's soul.

To be honest, I'm not keen on those new headlights nor the LED strip, I'd prefer proper fog lights integrated into the bumper. But with those new 19" alloys along with those thundering wheel arches and that wide rear, its looks are easily forgiven.

Having some fun at Red Star Raceway with the refreshed @Nissan #370Z. @Wheels24 #livelifeinthered

A post shared by Sergio Davids (@davids_sergio) on

It's a magnificent car to own and with 245kW/363Nm on tap it's purist fun behind the wheel. Its low centre of gravity along with that earthy growl emanating from its V6 engine is enough to make you keep your foot planted on the accelerator and sweeping through bends with that unbelievable grip.

It has a starting price of R661 900.

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Read more on:    nissan  |  janine van der post  |  cape town  |  370z  |  review

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