Nissan Unveils Mildly Refreshed 370Z Ahead of Debut at Chicago Auto Show

Nissan introduced the mildly refreshed 2013 370Z on Tuesday, a day before its public debut at the Chicago auto show. The sports car, which has undergone few changes since its introduction as a 2009 model, is the sixth generation of Nissan’s Z line, which was ushered in by the 240Z of 1970.

The Z-car wears more curvaceous styling than its predecessor, particularly around the front fascia, which is accented by vertical LED daytime running lights.

Other changes include revised 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels for models equipped with the optional Sport package, and new 18-inch wheels for the standard coupe. The Sport package also includes revised shock absorbers and racecar-red brake calipers. Two new exterior colors are available across the line, the fuel-gauge trim gets a new dark finish and a red reflector adorns the rear fascia.

“Since the original 1970 Z was first introduced, our goal has always been to keep the design moving forward,” said Al Castignetti, vice president of the Nissan division for Nissan North America, in a media release. “The changes for 2013, though subtle, go a long way in enhancing its dynamic appearance inside and out.”
Some might argue against substantial changes to the Z, given its wealth of lightweight aluminum parts, including the front subframe, engine cradle, door panels and hood. The standard engine, unchanged from 2012, is a 332-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6. The track-day-oriented Nismo 370Z gets a 350-horsepower version of the V-6, along with suspension upgrades and styling tweaks. A six-speed manual, with electronic rev-matching to enable smoother downshifts, is the sole gearbox offering for the Nismo. Coupe, Coupe Touring and Roadster models are available with either a conventional six-speed manual transmission or seven-speed automatic. The Roadster Touring, however, can be ordered only with the manual.

A relatively accessible price is one feature the Z faithful would hope remained unchanged for 2013, but Nissan is not expected to announce pricing until closer to the car’s arrival at dealer showrooms in June. Pricing for the 2012 Coupe started at $32,690.