In a track drive test of the 2009 Nissan 370Z, David Booth describes the new Downshift Rev Matching system available this teeth-grindingly appealing new sports car.
But it is, in fact, said manual tranny that is the 370's biggest advancement, at least on the race track. Besides offering better action - shorter, more precise throws - the 370Z offers the world's first Downshift Rev Matching system for a manual transmission. A plethora of sensors in the rear wheels and gearbox precisely matches the engine revs to the next gear down so that each downshift -no matter how quickly executed or at what speed - is absolutely smooth, all without the driver performing the traditional heal-and-toe pas de deux on the gas and brake pedals.
By not having to worry about matching revs, the driver is better able to concentrate on navigating corners and braking. Manually operable automatic transmissions (manumatics) have offered this automatic rev matching system for years, but this is the first application for a manual gearbox and it is definitely a significant advancement.
I could never quite figure out how to heel-and-toe. People would explain it to me. I'd watch videos. I'd ruin a few clutches. So I will gladly take the ding to my driver's cred to have a car just do the work for me so I can concentrate on my special "point-and-overshoot" style of racing.
First Drive: 2009 Nissan 370Z [Autos.Canada.com]