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Nuts & Bolts: Nissan 370Z Touring

Bottom line: The Nissan 370Z Touring and its siblings — the base model, the Nismo coupe and the 370Z convertible — are wonderful toys for a limited demographic audience: mostly young, affluent people relatively free of spousal or other familial obligations. It is the essence of “fun” — temporary, ephemeral, expensive, mostly self-centered and potentially memorable.

Ride, acceleration and handling: The car is happy only at speeds of 65 mph and above, which can be problematic in a strictly regulated driving environment. It feels cumbersome and weighty at lower speeds, which makes it less than fun-to-drive in most urban motoring settings.

Head-turning quotient: Super — it turns heads everywhere.

Body style/layout: The Nissan 370Z is a subcompact, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, two-seat, two-door sports car available as a hardtop coupe and soft-top convertible. It is available as a hardtop coupe in three iterations — base, Touring and Nismo.

Engine/transmission: The car comes standard with a 3.7-liter, 24-valve, gasoline-fueled double-overhead-cam V-6 with variable valve timing. A six-speed manual transmission is standard. A seven-speed automatic, which can be operated manually via steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters, is optional.

Capacities: There are seats for two people. Cargo space is limited — 6.9 cubic feet. Fuel capacity is 19 gallons. Premium gasoline is required.

Mileage: With the optional seven-speed automatic transmission, I averaged 26 miles per gallon in mostly highway driving.

Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes; four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; electronic brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; high-intensity-discharge headlamps; and driver head-restraint whiplash-protection system.

Price: The base price of the 2014 Nissan 370Z with optional seven-speed automatic transmission is $36,570. Dealer’s invoice price on that model is $33,870. Price as tested is $42,760, including $5,400 in options (onboard navigation, rearview camera, carpeted floor mats and other items) and a $790 factory-to-dealer transportation charge.

— Warren Brown