I got the opportunity to drive the new 2009 370Z a few days ago. I had a 350Z before the Cayman and really enjoyed the car while I had it. Stats-wise the 350Z had the same acceleration as the Cayman but once I got the Cayman I found that generally Porsche conservatively publishes statistics and Nissan, well.
In any case, I was excited to check out the 370Z. The 370Z is noticeably shorter than the 350Z and that makes it look way cooler in my opinion. I always thought the 350Z's ass was a little large and nose a little long. In general, I think the new styling is huge win. The stock wheels look great also.
On the performance side the big excitement is the new Synchrorev match feature of the standard transmission. Synchrorev is an automated way to heal-toe downshift.
If you spend enough time at a track you eventually have to learn to heal-toe downshift. This technique involves pushing in the clutch with your left foot while braking with your right foot AND blipping the throttle with your right foot at the same time. The blip allows you to match the engine RPM with the new lower gear you are selecting. This keeps you from inadvertently engine braking causing the cars rear-end and front-end to exchange positions. It's a reasonably difficult technique to learn but completely required to get to the next level.
The 370Z is the first car; I know of, that automates the "blip" part of the procedure. In the 370Z you push in the clutch and the second you pull the stick out of, say third, heading for, say second, the engine RPM automagically jumps to exactly the correct RPM for the speed the car is traveling and gear being selected. My first explanation was WOW, that was dead-on. My friend said, yeah – downshifts in this car are way smoother then up-shifts. That is truly unusual. I LOVE this feature. It can make anyone look like a shifting rock star. I'm torn about this, its so hard to learn to do and technology can give it to us for free. I'm sold, everyone should do this – amazing.
Other stuff I noticed in my 10 minute test drive was that the power of the 370Z seemed fairly close to my Cayman. My Cayman is ~300Hp so I would say the new 370Z is about that realistically. Under-steer that I found massive in the 350Z seems more neutral in the 370Z. In general the 370Z felt way more nimble to me than the 350Z.
The seats SUCK, they are like sitting in hole. The rest of the interior is generally an upgrade. The 350Z was constructed from 12 different plastics on the inside that made if feel cheap. The 370Z seems more orchestrated. It's not German, but its better.
Overall I think the 370Z is fun to drive and a major improvement over the 350Z. It would be fun to take one to the track and give a go!