Of all the auto companies, Nissan may well be one of the most diverse, offering models in nearly every category ranging from a pure electric powered commuter car to an all-out race track brawler. Another character Nissan has is providing value laden vehicles to those of us who are considered middle of the road car owners with priorities such as getting to work and transporting our families.
For the sports car enthusiast, Nissan offers up a palette for nearly anyone. If you are the average office worker wanting a sports car that gives a feeling of independence but want to be noticed while also having the comforts of a family sedan, the base 370Z seems to fit this category quite well. The Touring model adds a few creature comforts and features while providing more fun to the drive, and perhaps is the most popular of the 370Z models.
Of course, if you want to move up to extreme racetrack performance while retaining some semblance of public road civility, the Nissan GT-R is considered to be one of the foremost performance cars available. The GT-R will not only curl your toes with its extraordinary power funneled through all four wheels, this car will garner you the admiration of every car guy and gal in any parking lot. You will spend a lot of time in parking lots because everyone wants to talk with you about the car.
However, not everyone wants an absurdly powerful automobile like the GT-R. If you are a driver who wants to squeeze as much performance out of your sports car, want a bit of street cred and at least some semblance of road comfort, you might look toward the Nismo modified version of the 370Z. The 370Z Nismo will make you as excited to go to the market as much as it will taking on those favorite back country roads.
The Nissan Z has truly achieved celebrity status since its introduction in 1970 as the Datsun 240Z. Through each transition the Z has grown into a sports car that deserves all the accolades it receives. The folks at Nissan seem to have a handle on what the Z stands for and hopefully will keep it that way. The Nismo 370Z sure makes it seem as though they will.
Both Base and Touring 370Z models are equipped with a respectable 332 horsepower that will satisfy all but the biggest power seekers. And even though the Nismo ups the horsepower a mere 18 horses its combination with the track focused equipment make the Nismo seem unstoppable.
Engine tuning brings into focus throttle response and available torque that will give you the feeling you can take on those more powerful exotic sports cars. A stiffer suspension, limited-slip differential and high-performance tires mounted on special alloy wheels bring go-cart like handling that makes this Z one of the most fun automobiles on those back country roads we talked about.
We, like so many other enthusiasts know that brut power is not all it is cracked up to be. For one reason, you need lots and lots of room to run those vehicles. With the 370Z Nismo you can have as much of a spirited drive by remaining in lower gears through those tight mountain turns, all-the-while staying within legal speed limits. (Well, most of the time) The quick shifting 6-speed manual transmission is made even more incredible by Nissan’s rev-matching system they call SyncroRev. All diehard enthusiasts know it can take hours of practice to perfect the timing of quick-shifts. The quick blip of the throttle to get the timing of engine revs and shifting gears tuned to perfection. With SyncroRev the computer does it perfectly every time. Yes, it spoils you and if you are truly diehard you will want to challenge yourself to do better than the electronics. However, you will be hard pressed to beat the computer.
Styling is a major factor for a sports car that will see streets, roads and freeways most of its life. Desirable styling brings us to one particular automobile over another. The Z has gone through a number of design iterations since its introduction. The present design is contemporary, yet unique and makes everyone from those previously discussed office assistances to hard core racers appreciate the 370Z. It is a design that makes friends at every turn. In addition to the standard sleek body design, the Nismo receives the rear spoiler, front and rear valances and special racing inspired alloy wheels.
The interior is all sports car, the passenger compartment is cozy.
As any good performance automobile you feel as though you have just slipped into a cockpit of a fighter jet. It isn’t that it is restrictive; in fact there is plenty of room for you and your right seat partner. There is room for two in the well bolstered front bucket seats. In fact the Nismo seats are designed more like ones you would find in a race car. There is room under the rear hatch for a number of soft sided travel bags, but again it is designed for two, you and your very best friend.
The shifter is quick and sure. The steering wheel has a thick rim that provides excellent grip, is easy on the hands and makes controlling the steering as good as it gets The steering feel is quick and tight with little input needed from the driver to direct the Nismo in the exact direction you want.
Look beyond the extra firm suspension and the heavily bolstered seating and the lack of cargo space. You will have so much fun with the driving experience you get from the Nismo you will not care that some may consider the car not practical for everyday use. Who cares! Once you are captured by the 370Z Nismo those opinions mean nothing. You will be the one at the office water cooler with a huge grin.