Thursday 9th August 2012
PH BLOG: JOY OF SPECS
Nissan puts money where its mouth is; gives us 328hp for less than £30K
The amount of extra kit some press offices load on their vehicles you wonder sometimes how they manage to haul themselves into the PH car park. Fair enough you might say - manufacturers want to showcase the gadgets and gizmos you can spec your car up with, even if it's not representative of what a punter would choose.
Yours for less than £30K - amazing
But assessing a £30K car as a £30K car when it's got half as much again added on top in options isn't perhaps the most level of playing fields. There's a game being played here of course and the German brands - Audi most notably - are masters at quietly speccing press cars up in the hope of scoring an extra mark or two in that all-important group test. Indeed, the gap between real-world cars people actually buy and the press fleet ones we get to drive can be staggering.
When these cars do occasionally surface in approved used fleets that does potentially make them something of a bargain though, assuming you can balance the fact it's been through hordes of over-excitable hacks and led a life that would leave even the most abused holiday rental feeling like it got off lightly.
A lot of blank switches but 328hp, RWD and an LSD
Credit then to Nissan then for adding this 370Z to its fleet. This is a true baseline price car, with not a single extra, a lot of blanked out switches and a bottom line price of a smidge under £30K. Symbolic perhaps but 328hp for £29,975 has to make it an all time hp per £ bargain.
This is a car with a mission though, and you have to admire the Nissan press office's single-minded attempt to rain on the parade of its homegrown rivals over at Toyota and Subaru. Because the sole purpose of this car is to gatecrash grouptests featuring the GT 86 and/or BRZ and attempt to subvert the message that it's not all about horsepower. The 370Z very much is about horsepower and for just a couple of grand more than your typical Toyobaru press car exerts a very powerful force - an additional 128hp of force to be precise - on corruptible hacks. The Zee is a blunt tool compared with the BRZ or GT 86. But blunt tools have a habit of being rather effective too. Is it enough though? Stay tuned!