The Real Deal

In a world full of “sport” sedans, “sport” coupes, “sport” wagons and  “sport” activity vehicles, it’s easy to forget that there are still a few of these real-deal sports car things out there….no parenthesis needed.

Not many….but a few.    And Nissan’s Z is one of those few left standing.  A real genuine sports car.  Rear-wheel-drive…two-seats and a big engine.  It’s loud, low and loaded….with performance and handling and good looks.

Our test car came in “arrest-me-red”, with a 332 HP 3.7 V-6, a new 7-speed automatic with paddle-shifters and a traditional black fabric top that goes up and down in seconds.

Whereas a hardtop Z will start at a hair over $30,000, the roadster…with a little more standard equipment starts at $46,260 including transportation.

We had a well-worth-it $2,830 Sport Package that included 19” alloys, sport brakes, Euro-tuned shocks, a limited slip rear-end and 245 / 40 / 19’s in the front, and meaty 275 / 35 / 19’s in the rear.   Even with all that rubber, hit it a little hard in a corner and you’ll feel the rear-end rotate if you’re not careful.

Again, this is the real deal, and a lack of power is a problem that the new Z knows nothing about.   Fortunately the brakes from the Sport Package give you race-track stopping power to go with the Z’s natural “go”.

The 7-speed auto is well-geared to take advantage of every one of the Z’s 332 HP…always seeming to keep you in the right gear both upshifting and downshifting.   And with 7 speeds, it’s rated at 18 city and 25 MPG highway…on premium.  We got around 22.5 in mixed driving.   Coulda’ done better, but it’s hard to drive a Z like you’d drive a Prius.

Speaking of driving, plan to drive the Z with 2 hands.   The steering is firm and sensitive.   It’s not that you can’t drive one-handed….it’s just that you probably won’t want to.   The Z is just plain fun….best enjoyed with two hands firmly planted on the wheel.   Even the radio is a “drivers’ radio”….with old-fashioned buttons.   Buttons that you can feel…without taking your eyes off of the road.

Need to carry more than one passenger?   Get something else.   But if you’re looking for something to take you + one off on a curvey road for a weekend, Nissan’s Z Roadster lives for those moments.   Enjoy!



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