Things move pretty fast in the automotive world. From a development and evolution standpoint, three or four years may as well be a geologic time period for vehicles. There are some exceptions to the rule – the Porsche 911 and Honda S2000 spring to mind – but for the most part it takes continual development and evolution to keep a particular model exciting and popular.
The Nissan 370Z has been on the market with very few changes since 2008. If we get technical, its FM platform actually dates to the early 2000s with cars like the Infiniti G35 and the 370Z’s forerunner, the 350Z. That’s not to say it’s a bad car – the latest 370Z Heritage Edition doesn’t really look out-of-place with other vehicles at the New York Auto Show. That’s a testament to just how good this car was nearly a decade ago when it first hit the scene, but among the concepts and new reveals in New York, the 370Z does show its age.
The Heritage Edition is a little more than an appearance package for the aging sports car, adding special graphics to models finished in either Chicane Yellow or Magnetic Black. Horsepower stays the same at 332, with either a seven-speed automatic or six-speed manual available for shifting. Nissan says the Heritage Edition pays homage to the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the Z car, but just adding some stripes to a very dated platform seems borderline sacrilegious for something as legendary as the original 240Z.
It’s also very hard to justify $50,000 for a new 370Z in the face of such strong competition such as the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, both of which offer good handling and over 400 horsepower for considerably less money. For those simply seeking a fun-to-drive two-seater, the Mazda Miata is nearly half the price.
Still, seeing the 370Z gives us all kinds of warm nostalgia. It’s just too bad we’re feeling nostalgic for a brand new model. Please Nissan, give us something new and amazing to properly celebrate the Z’s 50th birthday.