– Motive Versus: Nissan 370Z vs. Porsche Cayman S

23 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on – Motive Versus: Nissan 370Z vs. Porsche Cayman S

As similar as the of the Nissan and the Porsche are, never mistake one for the other. design commonalities include two two doors, four tires, and a rear hatch. Actually, also share polarization. are drop-… gorgeous to some, but has plenty of enemies. Cayman will say the small Porsche has classic curves that remain timeless.

The hood is and the … is longer than the a visual reminder that the flat-six engine sits the driver. Speaking of butts, the has a huge one, and the verticality of the only makes it seem ridiculous when the two cars are side-by-side. From any angle isn’t straight on from the the new Z has a dynamic flow to it, looking it’s in the business of one thing: fast.

I’d give it the on design, just because used to the Cayman and its design more static. And small despite the fact that the is actually four inches and only a half-inch lower than the Z.

The same basic analysis to the interiors. The Porsche brings you door panels, simple and a centralization of just about button. Without the optional it’s easy to wonder decade this car is from.

the 370Z’s cabin is one hologrammed short of Wolf Blitzer’s Room. Just as in the 350Z, a bank of gauges front-and-center on the providing time, volts, and temperature. Behind the steering you’ve got the speedometer, tach as in the Cayman), a readout for the transmission’s gear (even with the and little bar graphs for coolant and fuel.

The engine start radio, climate controls, and navi are scattered about in a way anything but coherent. While car will certainly appeal do a type of buyer, neither will be able to use material as an argument. Both cabins excellent fit and finish. Both nice, thick steering and comfortable, supportive seats.

The are firmer, but the 370Z’s softer proved better for the long and don’t surrender much in of lateral support. But enough seats, because you’re wondering about the lone sitting next to the 370Z’s the one that activates SyncroRev.

In you missed it, that’s the name has given to a system of sensors the six-speed manual’s shifter. sense gear-lever movement and that information to the throttle-by-wire automatically matching engine to the newly selected gear downshifts. I had my early doubts more than anything, was to embrace another system takes the driver out of the equation.

downshifts are a hard-to-master enthusiast not some algorithm in a computer Or at least that’s how I did feel, up I drove this Nissan. Let me you the satisfaction of hearing a perfectly throttle each and every you grab a lower gear is as rewarding as trying to do it yourself.

There’s just one little and that’s the fact that the will rev (right into the even if you’re not serious that six-to-two downshift the think you’re about to If you like to flip the shifter in neutral as you’re coasting from a higher speed, you’ll want to stop Or turn the system off.

Or order it in the first place part of the $3000 sport

The ’09 Cayman has a pretty transmission option, too, in its automated dual-clutch unit PDK. Today, though, all about the manuals apples to and all that. Ignoring the downshift the 370Z’s shifter feels like the one in the 350Z. The throws are and short, but the gears are close and it’s easy to pick the one if you rush your movements. The throws are much longer, and the is floppy and light.

It feels a bit but at least all six gears are easy to

The two engines don’t have in common. One’s a 3.4-liter opposed 6, the latest evolution of the concept motivating Porsches for For 2009, it benefits from a new system that gives it progressive power through the and a higher peak at the top end 320 hp at 7200 300 shy of the redline.

The 370Z’s VQ-series is the newest and best of that engine family, and just as in the G37, it’s the first VQ variable valve timing. It an extra 0.3 liters of displacement to get but the Z boasts a 12-hp advantage the Cayman S at 200 fewer rpm. 273 lb-ft versus 270 in favor of the is a closer battle, but the 370Z’s displacement gives it a fatter

It may peak 450 rpm higher, but the Nissan like it plateaus long that. Getting back on the out of a slow corner, the big V-6 never short on energy.

That doesn’t concern the S, because it is able to carry more speed through and, as a result, keep speeds higher. Credit to a curb weight of 2976 That’s about 240 fewer the 370Z, which uses aluminum for the doors, hood, and hatch, along with and rear subframes underneath. The uses the lighter metal for the hood, along with suspension components, but it is able to the weight elsewhere.

The lower is just enough to cancel out the stronger bottom end, and the two are in terms of grip and neutrality. a few canyons north of Los Angeles, car is able to widen the gap over the

Steering feel in the Cayman is and more playful than the with a bit more feedback the pavement. However, the ’09 we tested last week a bit closer to the Nissan’s heavier but sharp system. We’d the Porsche’s change a touch enjoyable, but the 370Z’s steering is the best improvements over its which felt a bit removed the action at the tires.

The Cayman, does its work in quick, motions, while the Z requires a bit input for the same result.

The is true of each car’s Over bumps and through corners, the Cayman’s four-corner struts get their work quickly, returning the car to its neutral in finger-snap motions, like the car is to a drum beat. You have to on top of it, but the quick reactions allow the to be ready for the next corner, no how close it may be.

It’s also makes anyone driving the look like a hero if the is always anticipating the next it’s always ready you screw up.

The 370Z is more to teach you a lesson after mistakes. Fortunately, stability is standard equipment. However, system cuts in earlier and abrasively than the Cayman’s. quick switchbacks, it’s back power at every exit.

The Z’s chassis responds slowly but more fluidly the Cayman it may be that quick of throttle, mainly during in which the suspension’s still itself out, can overwhelm the computers. When I turn it I discover the Z’s dirty Those controls shut the car before it truly gets and the harder the 370Z is pushed, the it gets.

Porsche Cayman

Nissan engineers the car’s weight distribution at front to rear, which seem ideal for a sports The theory is that the car’s weight distribution the balance the car’s accelerating out of a corner … even as the load I believe it.

With stability on vacation, the car dives into without a hint of understeer and I get back on the throttle earlier, the hunkers down, grabs of the road, and pushes out of the bend tremendous grip. The transition braking and getting back on the gas just the right amount of Other than the seriously Miata, it’s hard to of another front-engine car for normal-people with this much

It makes me wonder why Porsche through all the effort of moving the somewhere so hard to get at.

Maybe it was for the of the brakes. Sure, the 370Z has outright force (as it should the optional sport package, endows it with rotors 1.5 inches greater in diameter up and 2.1 inches wider at the rear the normal Z), but it shakes its big rump a bit heavy pressure while the feels more confident. The has a better pedal feel, with the Porsche surrendering a bit of before going to work.

car even jokes about fade after a hard day of

At this point, the Cayman and seem like evenly foes. Power is almost with a minor lean the Z. Weight is fairly close, but the is lighter. We didn’t run 0-60 with our ’08 Cayman for reasons, but Porsche is claiming the 4.9 seconds Nissan claims for its

We couldn’t get our car under five, but the we picked as a drag strip was a bit But that also speaks to the way the accelerates. It doesn’t take revs to induce wheelspin a stop and while the tires for traction the 3.7-liter continues to power in a heavy, unchanging

The trip up to sixty and beyond is a one, but it isn’t as entertaining as the run. That engine can to be revved higher before the is dumped, making the initial a bit more shocking. The ’08 runs up the tachometer in noticeable of energy that have flattened a bit for 2009.

Still, a more emotional ride up to in the Porsche, even if the two run neck-and-neck. performance is a wash and handling be much closer. Each however, scores a big win in one category.

As as the engine might be in the 370Z. I’ll come right out and say it it doesn’t sound good. outside the car, it lacks the Chewbacca howl of the 350Z and inside, it just sounds Its dull note sticks up to the top of the tach before you shift and it over again with a new

The Porsche’s boxer engine octaves two or three times as it And while exhaust notes seem insignificant to some, are two-passenger sport coupes. run on emotion as much as gasoline, and the could stand to be more I’m eagerly awaiting a with the NISMO exhaust be made available for the Z sometime in

Hopefully it’ll be the aural of the Nissan’s in-your-face design.

The of the 370Z’s subdued tone is it knows how to cut the attitude and act like a car. Not only that, a fantastic highway cruiser, as I after driving the car from the launch in Las Vegas to join the in California. With the Porsche, you get what you see. A small, rough-riding sports car.

At speeds the engine buzzes in ears and through your It grows less comfortable as the wear on and doesn’t respond to washboard roads, even the sport suspension switched to soft mode. The 370Z has one mode, but it works miraculously in all

It’ll deliver lap after lap of performance then get you home in and silence. The stout chassis up harshness arguably, better its more luxurious Infiniti G37 and the engine turns more than the Porsche at interstate The seats are comfortable, wind is minimal, and the stereo’s pretty

Though the Z is classified as a sports it masquerades well as a grand

Nissan set out to build a better Z and set the Cayman S as an early target. The doesn’t carry the Porsche’s or the social status that with owning a sports car the crest, but the two cars are near in practically every category.

its inception, the Cayman has been as one of the most balanced sports car ever designed, and for Nissan to nip so at that car’s … for the price ($60,200 for a Cayman S, and $33,000 for a 370Z with the package, which includes the brakes, a limited-slip diff, wheels, SyncroRev, and an aero is quite a statement. The Cayman is a better sports car, but the is a slightly better everyday And I don’t have to tell you one hell of a bargain.

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