2010 Nissan 370Z
The geniuses at Nissan’s Motorsports division take good cars and make them great. It’s as simple as that. And because of the quality of their products, there’s a gaggle of people out there who religiously await the next NISMO creation, body mods and all. Most recently, the NISMO guys got their hands on the new 370Z
– the successor to the 350Z
. Oh sure, the NISMO 350Z was insanely fun to drive, but the new NISMO 370Z has evolved into a more competent – and slightly more refined – sports car. Heaven forbid. The new iteration has a more capable feel to it, lending a confidence to the driver that wasn’t 100% there in the 350Z. Horsepower has been bumped to 350 (up from 332) and they’ve squeezed out an additional 6 lb-ft of torque over the standard Z. With suspension, engine and braking modifications, the NISMO turns more sharply, accelerates more adeptly and stops more efficiently than its stable mate. It also benefits from the exterior changes that keep the Z line looking sharp. And let’s not forget that standard six-speed manual with SynchroRev Match. We’ll take one in red, thank you very much.
What's to Like
The NISMO is a tightened up, more responsive 370Z, which is to say it’s fantastically fun. It’s also the possessor of a modified version of the new exterior redesign, with changes that add a dash of sophistication to the rough-and-tumble Z line. Interior touches have been softened and refined as well. Of course, SynchroRev Match is simply amazing.
What's Not to Like
While this probably isn’t something that concerns hardcore NISMO buyers, the ride is pretty firm and rough roads will cause serious teeth chatter. The wheel wells are inches from your ears, and road noise reverberates around the cabin, even at low speeds. We can put up with a lot, but the clamor is borderline uncomfortable.
DriverSide Driving Impressions
The NISMO is motivated by Nissan’s tried and true VQ engine, which seems constantly primed for energetic endeavors. This is especially the case in the NISMO, as the car is eager to rev and delivers peak torque a hair shy of the 7,500 rpm redline. Adjusted aerodynamics – including a nose that protrudes six inches further than the standard piece – help the NISMO slice through the air, and suspension tuning has tightened up the ride significantly. Steering is crisp, and with the speed variable assist steering, it never feels twitchy or, conversely, heavy. Surprisingly, road noise is a big issue, even at low speeds, and it’s something that will bother even the hardcore NISMO enthusiasts. The only transmission on offer is a six-speed manual with standard SynchroRev Match, which is the world’s first rev-matching manual. No matter how good of a heel-toe driver you may be, this will be better. We guarantee it.
Engine and Drivetrain
Increasing horsepower by 18 and torque by 6 lb-ft over the standard Z has given the NISMO a total of 350 horses and 276 lb-ft of torque, produced by Nissan’s 3.7-liter V-6 engine. This potent combination is sent through the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission with SynchroRev Match.
Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
With the NISMO, what you see is pretty much what you get. Not that it’s a bad thing considering a CD player, auxiliary input jack, push button start and cruise control are all standard features. The icing on the cake is the SynchroRev Match though. The technology (which can be turned off) uses sensors in the shift gates to tell the engine to blip the throttle and match the revs to the newly selected gear, ensuring silky smooth shifts and actually reducing fuel consumption.
Key Technology Evaluation
As a performance car, the NISMO’s most important technology doesn’t come in the form of a nav system. Instead, modified underpinnings like performance dampers, stiffened springs and rear stabilizer bar and the addition of a limited slip differential are the highlights. All help to increase stability and improve responsiveness, which is music to our ears.
Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
Here’s where a low curb weight (3,300 lbs) and an efficient transmission come in handy, because despite the increased power, the NISMO’s gas mileage clocks in at a respectable 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. What might get your goat is its affinity for Premium Unleaded, though. Like the 370Z, it also receives a ULEV emissions rating.
A Closer Look: Vehicle Details
Even fans of the NISMO 350Z will confess that the interior seemed a touch cheap, a problem that Nissan has easily sorted with soft, supple materials and a modern, driver-centered instrument panel. Standard sport bucket seats with red fabric and stitching provide ample support during aggressive driving.
Despite HID headlights, massive exhaust tips and a rear diffuser, on the surface the NISMO appears more subdued than the previous model. NISMO-adorned badges aren’t too superfluous, though you won’t be flying under the radar in this machine – especially with its standard 19-inch wheels.
Market Segment and Pricing
The NISMO 370Z starts at $39,130 and won’t travel much further north thanks to its lack of options or packages. Its performance places it among significantly pricier sports cars like the $56,700 Porsche Boxster S, $48,900 Audi TTS
, $51,650 BMW Z4 sDrive35i
and $53,220 Chevrolet Corvette
What We Think
Any foibles we find with the NISMO – which are few and far between anyway – are negated after a quick look at the base price. For under $40,000, the car delivers true enthusiast performance yet avoids sacrificing most creature comforts to do so. Even though Nissan anticipates only five percent of Z buyers going for the NISMO, improvements over the last iteration are substantial enough to generate a new group of devotees. We imagine they’ll be waiting anxiously for the next NISMO iteration. too.