2013 Nissan 370Z at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show

  • Competes with: Hyundai Genesis coupe, Ford Mustang
  • Looks like: Nissan is copying Porsche's philosophy regarding the 911: the fewer noticeable changes, the better 
  • Drivetrain: 332- or 350-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 with six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive 
  • Hits dealerships: June 2012

The Nissan 370Z sports car receives a number of cosmetic changes for the 2013 model year, but the V-6 powertrain carries over unchanged. Available June 2012, the 2013 370Z will again be offered in coupe, roadster and high-performance NISMO form.

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Z fans will readily spot the subtle design tweaks, but they'll likely go unnoticed by the majority of observers. Changes include a restyled front lip spoiler that trades the fangs of its predecessor for a cleaner, sleeker look. There are also new LED daytime running lights at the car’s front corners. The only change to the rear is a new red reflector below the license plate. NISMO versions, which have unique front and rear styling, don't receive these changes, but they do gain high-rigidity brake hoses and performance brake fluid.

The 370Z has standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and 19-inch rims are optional. These sizes are available for the 2013 model year but the designs are new. Nineteen-inch wheels are included with the Sport Package, which gains red brake calipers and retuned shocks.

The 2013 370Z is powered by Nissan's familiar 332-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6. The engine teams with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission. In NISMO models, exhaust and engine computer tuning yield 350 hp from the same engine. Nissan's highly effective SynchroRev Match, which takes the guesswork out of engine rev-matching when downshifting, is optional for the manual transmission.

Nissan's tweaks to the 2013 370Z are so minor they risk going undetected, but that also means there isn't anything that might diminish the car's impressive performance. With the auto industry squarely focused on fuel economy and alternative powertrains, it’s a win for sports-car enthusiasts.

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