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Nissan's Z DNA dates back to the original 1969 240Z and subsequent Datsun models (i.e. 280Z). The Nissan 300ZX reigned throughout the '90s while the last-gen 350Z came out in 2003. The newest member of this 40-year-old club is the 2009 Nissan 370Z.

With an overall shape similar to the 350Z, a higher waistline and tighter fitting skin give this version a more athletic look. Its low stance is bolstered by a cantilevered roof design, broader flared fenders, boomerang-style head and taillights as well as upswept rear quarter windows that are faithful to the original Z cars.

Naturally, this is the most potent version yet with a new 3.7-liter VQ37VHR V6 cannon that fires 332 ponies and 270 ft-lbs of torque through either a manual or automatic gearbox. Fuel economy for both setups is a respectable 22 mpg EPA combined.

I haven't tried the seven-speed auto, but the six-speed manual is oh-so-sweet! It features a downshift rev-matching system that uses tiny micro-switches inside the tranny and detects clutch position to automatically 'blip' the throttle without requiring any fancy footwork from the driver.

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