By Joe Bruzek on October 8, 2010
Blasphemy is what I cried when first reading about Nissan’s SynchroRev Match option. It automates the fancy-foot technique of rev-matching a manual transmission for smooth downshifts. Driving a true sports car like the 2010 Nissan 370Z should be a full control experience. At least that was my old way of thinking, but it’s executed so flawlessly I’ve learned to embrace the sacrilege.
Rev-matching is vital during downshifting to make even the harshest charging sports car shift smoothly. On the Nissan 370Z, the optional SynchroRev Match automatically blips the throttle between downshifts, which matches engine and transmission speed. The results are smooth downshifts and happy, whiplash-free passengers.
When the feature is activated via S-mode button, the 370Z will rev the engine with no input from your right foot as soon as your hand moves the gear selector into a lower numeric gear. The gear you choose and vehicle speed will determine the rpm jump. Carefully engage the clutch and the reward is a buttery smooth engagement. It takes a little getting used to, but once the 370Z revved the engine and matched gear changes perfectly and consistently every time, I found it second nature to let the feature do its job.
This technique is also used for performance driving to maintain vehicle balance and reduce drivetrain shock. For 370Z owners who want to experience the track, drivers have one less thing to worry about while finding braking zones and trying to hit an apex on top of rev-matching during braking.
SynchroRev Match is part of the $3,000 Sports Package on the 370Z. The package also includes a limited-slip differential, beefier brakes and lightweight wheels. If it’s keeping you from opting for the other drive-fast goodies, don’t worry, you could learn to love it.
Road Test Editor Joe Bruzek covers Cars.com’s short-and long-term fleet of test cars and drives a 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Email Joe