1 September 2017

How much has the sports car world changed since the birth of the 370Z?

By Mitchell TulkMitchell Tulk
Is the 370Z getting uglier to anyone else? (image credit: Knight Nissan)

With another upgrade inbound for Nissan's coupe, we look at how different its competition is now.

It's safe to say Nissan’s 370Z is becoming a bit long in the tooth, having been launched back in 2009 and only receiving (minus the Nismo) minor updates.

Nissan has released images of the 2018 facelifted 370Z which doesn't look overly different from the first car that hit the showrooms almost 10 years ago.

  • 2010 World car of the Year 2010 World car of the Year
  • Is the 370Z getting uglier to anyone else? (image credit: Knight Nissan) Is the 370Z getting uglier to anyone else? (image credit: Knight Nissan)
 

Now, the 370Z faces even fiercer competition as the sports car scene commits to even higher power-to-weight ratios, performance statistics, and ever increasing efficiency outputs.

One of the major challengers to Nissan's Z car was Mazda's tinglingly epic RX-8, which has been six feet under since 2012, due to poor sales and an inability to meet next-gen emission standards .

Much to the joy of rotary tragics, Mazda is currently working on a replacement which the world got a taste of in 2015 with the RX-vision concept.

  • Please, please make this Mazda. Please, please make this Mazda.
  • The RX-8 was the thinking man's sports car, minus the somewhat unreliable engine. The RX-8 was the thinking man's sports car, minus the somewhat unreliable engine.
 

On the other side of the world, Porsche has downsized and turbocharged its Boxster and Cayman models in 2016; creating the 718, the first four-cylinder Porsche since the 968.

Despite losing the six-cylinder induction howl and still having an electric power-steering system, both are still regarded as two of the best sports cars on sale.

  • The perfect car to blow your kids inheritance on. The perfect car to blow your kids inheritance on.
  • The Porsche Cayman, the car for people who can't afford a 911. The Porsche Cayman, the car for people who can't afford a 911.
 

Audi's TT has entered its third generation, bringing with it a host of updates to help shake off the stigma of just being a Volkswagen Golf in a flashy dress.

The current design is much sharper, as is the perfomance - especially on the RS model.

The RS is underpinned by the ultra-stiff Audi Space Frame chassis. The RS is underpinned by the ultra-stiff Audi Space Frame chassis.

The biggest change in this segment has be the introduction of the 86 and BRZ. Two (near) twins that have since made it more than possible to own a cheap and fun rear-wheel drive sports car. Hi-fives all 'round.

  • The 86, more common to see on the road than a Mustang. (image credit: Tim Robson) The 86, more common to see on the road than a Mustang. (image credit: Tim Robson)
  • You need to be a detective to tell the difference between an 86 and BRZ. You need to be a detective to tell the difference between an 86 and BRZ.

Its impact was massive, even requiring Mazda to go back to the drawing board with the MX-5

While the 370Z isn't a direct one-on-one rival to these particular cars, they have taken buyers away from the aging V6 coupe. Although now with the Nismo version on sale -  and an Australian facelift soon to follow - maybe that will reignite some interest... or will it?

Do you think the Nissan 370Z is overdue for a replacement? Let us know in the comments.