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Driven: Nissan celebrates Z’s 50th anniversary

Limited-edition 370Z enters showrooms to mark 50 years of Nissan Z sportscars

23 Aug 2019

NISSAN Australia has commemorated 50 years of Z sportscars, including the Datsun 240Z original, with the release of a limited-edition 370Z coupe that features several historic cosmetic touches inside and out.


Aptly named 50th Anniversary, the special is unsurprisingly restricted to just 50 units and commands a $3000 premium over the ‘regular’ coupe, at $53,490 plus on-road costs.


A six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching is standard, but a seven-speed torque-converter automatic unit with paddle-shifters can be optioned for $2500.


Speaking to GoAuto this week at the 370Z 50th Anniversary national media launch at the Norwell Motorplex in Queensland, Nissan Australia general manager of product management, pricing, electrification and mobility Chris Schultz said the special’s split between manual and automatic is close to 50/50.


“Actually, in the normal Z car, there’s more autos now – 75, 80 per cent,” he said. “But with (50th Anniversary), we thought given the nostalgia … they’re probably more people that are going to drive manual.”


Nostalgia is manifested by the 50th Anniversary’s two-tone paintwork, with either a white or silver base colour. For the former, the bonnet, side mirrors and rooflines, A-pillars and bootlid are red, while the latter changes these elements to black alongside the central roof panel.


Contrasting double racing stripes also adorn both doors to complete the tribute to the original BRE racecar, while ‘50th Anniversary’ wreath decals are located below the side indicators. Similarly branded badging is found at the rear.


A thin contrasting line also runs along the sides of the 50th Anniversary, from the headlights to the rear glass, to form a small triangle that is said to be inspired by the C-pillar design of the aforementioned Datsun 240Z.


A fresh set of 19-inch Rays alloy wheels with red rims complete the visual upgrades, although it should be noted that the 50th Anniversary does, however, delete the base coupe’s front and rear spoilers.


Inside, the front seats are trimmed in black leather-accented upholstery but feature red mesh suede inserts with wreath graphics as well as embossed ‘50th Anniversary’ logos and contrasting piping and stitching.


Red stitching is also used for the steering wheel trimmed in black leather-accented and Alcantara upholstery. It also features a red 12 o’clock marker.


The suede-trimmed door inserts and knee rests also get the contrasting stitching alongside the shifter boot that is matched to a red knob.


‘50th Anniversary’ badging is located in front of the gear selector and on top of the tachometer, while dark chrome ‘Z’ logos are used for the scuff plates.


No upgrades have been made to the entry-level coupe’s 3.7-litre naturally aspirated V6 petrol engine for the rear-wheel-drive 50th Anniversary, with 245kW of power produced at 7000rpm and 363Nm of torque developed at 5200rpm.


Claimed fuel consumption on the combined-cycle test is 10.6 and 10.4 litres per 100 kilometres for the manual and automatic variants respectively.


Mr Schultz said the 50th Anniversary is expected to help steady the 370Z’s sales, after its Nismo flagship made a “huge” impact upon its launch in September 2017.


“At this point in its lifecycle, it’s probably more about trying to hold the volume that’s been there,” he said. “As you know, sportscars, it’s very fashionable.


“When we brought in the Nismo, we saw a real bounce in sales, both (overall and) in the standard car – it was quite updated, as well, so we saw lots of sales.


“That started to slow down in the last six months, but we’re still selling quite a few.”


370Z sales have taken a significant hit this year, with 128 examples sold to the end of July – a 30.8 per cent decrease over the 185 deliveries made during the same period in 2018. As such, it is second slowest-selling model in the sub-$80,000 sportscar segment.


Standard equipment in the 50th Anniversary otherwise includes a rear viscous limited-slip differential, double-wishbone front and independent multi-link rear suspension, speed-sensitive hydraulic power steering, ventilated brake discs with four-piston front and two-pot rear callipers, Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tyres (245/40 front, 275/35 rear), a space-saver spare wheel, dusk-sensing bi-Xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and smoked LED tail-lights.


Inside, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, satellite navigation, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary connectivity; an eight-speaker Bose sound system, keyless entry and start, single-zone climate control and four-way power-adjustable front seats with heating feature. The driver’s pew also gets manual lumbar support.


2019 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary pricing*

50th Anniversary $53,490
50th Anniversary (a) $55,990

*Excludes on-road costs

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