The 2020 370Z offers an eye-popping two-tone paint job that's part of what Nissan calls Z's 50th Anniversary Edition package. But after all the complements this car received during our week with it, we thought the package might be better described by a male Baby-Boomer's favorite T-shirt slogan:
"Old Guys Rule."
After all, the 370Z graced by this 2020 appearance package -- a package that turns heads like Ozzy Osbourne in the choir loft -- has, in fact, been around in its current form since way back in 2009 when it replaced the outgoing 350Z. That was 12 model years ago -- a lifetime in the car business.
Of course, going back even farther is the car being commemorated: the Datsun 240Z, which arrived stateside for the 1970 model year and whose race-car-version appearance is aped by the two-tone paint livery of the Z's 50th birthday package.
That $2,600 package, available in black or red, includes such lookie-there eye candy as twin-slash door decals, unique 19-inch wheels and a laurel wreath encircling a "Z" emblem on the front fenders. Undeniably eye-catching, that hey-look-at-me haberdashery drew loads of admiring comments from onlookers -- all on a car that's changed little since its car-show debut during the George W. Bush administration.
Fortunately, styling remains relevant and performance remains competitive. Only the cabin's appointments allow the crow's-feet around Z's aging eyes to show.
For 2020, this two-seat hatchback 370Z is available in Coupe, Sport, Sport Touring and NISMO trims. The birthday package is offered only on Sport.
To our eyes -- which themselves may be framed by a crow's foot or two -- Z's sleek, long-hood/no-deck, teardrop profile remains racy and relevant. Add the over-the-top motif of our car's red-and-white 50th Anniversary paint scheme -- hood, hatch, roof edges, mirror housings and door slashes in red; fenders, flanks and roof in white -- and this thing had passersby gawking. I lost track of the number of people who commented on how cool it looked. (Although more than one noted our car's red door slashes looked like the Dodge logo.)
Inside, Z's age becomes evident. The backup camera in our Sport was a tiny image imbedded in the left side of the rearview mirror because there is no infotainment touch screen. You've got to go to Sport Touring for that. Also absent in Sport are a reconfigurable gauge package, intelligent cruise control, a telescoping wheel and a satellite radio receiver. The audio buttons proudly proclaim "FM-AM" and "CD" (do people still listen to CDs?).
To be fair, there is a concession to modern infotainment sensibilities with one USB input and an AUX plug concealed in the bin under the center armrest.
That said, Sport feels pretty dated. Upper trims, at least, offer a touch screen.
Interior 50th birthday accents include a steering wheel wrapped in faux suede, 50th Anniversary badges in the tachometer, on the center console and on the door-sill kickplates, and leather sport buckets whose backs are embossed with the "50th Anniversary" legend and whose cushions display a wreath-encircled "Z" logo.
As has been the case for more than a decade, Z is powered by its ever-faithful 3.7-liter V-6, whose 332 hp and 270 b.-ft. of torque are sent to the rear wheels through the buyer's choice of a seven-speed automatic or the six-speed manual we had.
On the road, Z is loud, firm and raucous, but its athleticism remains intact. Sure, the six-speed stick feels notchy by modern standards, but we greeted 60 mph in about 5 seconds while benefiting from sharp handling, quick steering, impressive fore-aft weight balance and robust low-end torque.
Sooner rather than later Nissan will have to either update this iconic sport coupe or discontinue it. The good old Z has been neglected for a decade.
For now, though, Z's still-competitive performance, still-hip styling and eye-catching 50th Anniversary raiment are testament that, yeah, old guys rule.