Is Synchro RevMatch the Way of the Future? - 2009 Nissan 370Z Long-Term Road Test
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2009 Nissan 370Z Long-Term Road Test

2009 Nissan 370Z: Is Synchro RevMatch the Way of the Future?

May 19, 2009

Synchro RevMatch shifting -- Photo by James Riswick and Mark Takahashi

Every once in a while an automotive technology will come along that has me yearning for it to trickle down into other cars. Sometimes it's a small thing (satellite radio) and other times it's a game changer like the Synchro RevMatch manual transmission found in our long-term Nissan 370Z.

The ease of making rev-matched downshifts differs based on pedal placement, throttle tip-in, driver's foot size, position of the moon, familiarity with the car, and of course, driver skill. I don't claim to be a heal-toeing maestro, but I find our M3 and Mini Cooper S to be incredibly easy ... the Challenger not so much.

But none of that matters in the Zed (which is spelled as such for my fellow Canadians out there). Once I got beyond the initial trepidation of dropping the clutch without matching revs, I found myself downshifting a lot more. At traffic lights, I'll go down through the gears just for the hell of it rather than coasting in whatever gear I was in. Sure, there could be a "lost art" element to this new technology, but I think it makes shifting your own gears more fun.

Now if only it was attached to a more pleasant engine. So here's hoping that the remaining purveyors of manual transmissions develop their own Synchro RevMatch. As Howard Hughes said 1,988 times at the end of The Aviator, "it's the way of the future."

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 6,470 miles


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