Nissan 370Z's Downshift Rev Matching: Heel-and-toe shifting for everyone

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 []
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14 Responses to Nissan 370Z's Downshift Rev Matching: Heel-and-toe shifting for everyone

  1. sworm says:

    I’ll have to test it before I judge.

    While this might be great for on the track, I like heel-toeing. It might ruin my mileage but it helps when you want to leave a rubber mark on the asphalt.

  2. Robabob says:

    I learnt how to do this in my first car (an old air cooled VDub Beetle) as it didn’t idle when it was cold so needed to maintain revs while downshifting :o) However I’ve never found a need for it on the road and when I’mon the track I’m on two wheels these days.

  3. Not a Doktor says:

    Drool worthy

  4. Alpinwolf says:

    That’s $40,000 Canadian, right? What’s the exchange these days… Wait, I’m on the web… I get it now…

    About $33,400 (USD). So, not quite so bad. Sorta.

    Also, I’m pretty sure the GT-R is AWD, and a twin-turbo V6. Do they actually axe half the driveline for some track version? And a different motor? That’s more than a touch “modified”, it would hardly be the same car.

    Perhaps there are different cars around the world with the same moniker?

  5. DefMech says:

    @Alpinwolf depending on what racing league you’re in, it doesn’t matter that you’re using a different drivetrain. Old JGTC Supras used MR2 3SGTE engines instead of the native 2JZGTE.

  6. boombacloud says:

    @ SWORM:

    You can turn off the system that does the rev matching for you with the push of a button.

  7. Marshall says:

    I had no idea there was a name for the “heel and toe”.

  8. Anonymous says:

    From what I’ve read from the few bloggers who’ve actually tested this new car on a racetrack, it bangs off the rev limiter far too readily when down shifting, thus really only making it useful on the street… and yea most people can already double clutch on the street…

    But yes, it can be disabled, so no worry there.

    However like with the GT-R, I am apposed to the continuous dumbing down of driving… but thankfully most serious racing leagues ban driving aids, hence the GT-R track car is a RWD v8 without all that kiddie torque vectoring business :)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow. I thought I invented this move. Actually, no, I always wondered what people called it. I used to always use the “brake’n’juice” as I called it with my first car, a Scirocco. The pedals were close enough that I got used to rolling my foot from pressing the brake to juicing the accelerator, meaning, both pedals could be in action at the same time when necessary. Works best with smooth-soled shoes, I tells ya. Those driving mocs always caught on the edge of the brake pedal, holding it too long.

  10. pork musket says:

    Oh that is fucking slick… some of the awesomeness of paddle shifters with the classic feel of a stick. Me want.

  11. pork musket says:

    Oh and also, heel/toe is pretty easy if you can already rev match. Practice your rev matching, then just add the braking and the foot rolling. Shoes make a huge difference.

  12. dculberson says:

    Drool. Too bad I’m so cheap. Maybe in 10 years!!

  13. Lonin says:

    Starting at $40,000 too, not bad as long as the sports package isn’t too much more expensive. Hopefully the interior isn’t as much of a pile of shit as the 350 was.

  14. HarshLanguage says:

    Nissan’s doing quite a comeback in the sports car world. The amazing GT-R pretty much swept car of the year awards, and now this nice little technical improvement.

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