Fun, no yawns, in this new-generation Nissan Z roadster

Sunday, 12 November 2017, 10:17:56 AM. When you motivate a car that weighs a modest-to-moderate 3,548 pounds with 338 horses, you get pressed back in your seat a bit.
The first Nissan Z car sold in this country dates back nearly half a century, to a time when the automaker still went by the name Datsun. The Datsun 240Z debuted here as a 1970 model. It sold well for several reasons: With a starting price of $3,500, it was affordable fun. And with proportions not unlike the Ferrari GTO’s and a front-end design that evoked a Jaguar E-Type, it was one good-looking car. For my money, it remains the most aesthetically pleasing Z of them all. Nissan A vintage 1971 Datsun (Nissan) 240Z. The first Z was also a nicely built sports car that handled well and accelerated decently for its time. Fitted with a 2.4-liter, inline six that employed dual carburetors to develop 151 horsepower, it got from 0 to 60 mph in a follicle over eight seconds and topped out at 125. The sporting nature of the Z was corrupted for a time by some of its successors, notably the 280ZX, a mushy boulevard car. But eventually, it got its mojo back. Like its ancestor, the current iteration, the 370Z, is an affable performer. It corners crisply and sprints from rest to 60 mph in a spiffy five seconds. That kind of get-up-and-go is courtesy of a 3.7-liter V-6 that serves up 332 horsepower. And like the first Z, the 2018 offering is still affordable. The base coupe model starts at a reasonable $29,990. That affordability is eroded, of course, as you go up the food chain. The upmarket 370Z Touring Sport Roadster I played with started at $49,400 and ended up at $51,210 after...Read more
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