If you haven’t driven the 2010 Nissan NISMO 370Z, you’re doing yourself a disservice. A high-performance version of the 370Z Coupe, the NISMO has an engine that screams excitement and an exterior that begs to be looked at.
If you’re an automatic-only driver, you’ll be disappointed to learn that this car is out of your league; it’s offered in just one fully-loaded model that’s equipped with a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission— a gearbox that’s required for Nissan’s SynchroRev Match (SRM) function. The first of its kind in the world, SRM is a fully electronic downshift rev-matching system that seamlessly blips the throttle for you, as a team of sensors respond to the clutch, sifter, and transmission to ensure the drive shaft speed matches that of the engine. The system works not only during downshifts and upshifts, but can also bring the revs to the optimum level if the driver presses the clutch but doesn’t follow through with changing gears.
Adding to the pleasure of the SRM system is a 3.7-liter V-6, which produces 350 horsepower at 7400 rpm and 276 lb-ft. of torque at 5200 rpm; that’s an increase of 18 hp and 6 lb-ft of torque over the regular 370Z, and the differences are noticeable. With increased power and no added weight gain, the NISMO 370Z is wildly energetic, and the harder it’s pushed, the better it drives.
Handling has also been improved, thanks in part to stiffer suspension and wider anti-roll bars. Roll stiffness has been upped by 15 percent, and the front and rear damping factors have been increased by 40 and 140 percent, respectively. In other words, you can corner with dizzying speed and confidently lay on the gas through each turn. Those who are enamored by exhilarating performance will instantly be smitten.
Drivers can tear through terrain of all kinds on the 5-spoke Nissan-branded 19-inch RAYS forged aluminum-alloy wheels (19×9.5-inch front, 19×10.5-inch rear) mounted with Yokohama ADVAN Sport Y-rated high-performance tires (P245/40ZR19 front, P285/35ZR19 rear). Stopping power is supplied by standard NISMO Sport Brakes, which have larger 14.0-inch front and 13.8-inch rear vented rotors, as well as 4-piston front and 2-piston rear aluminum calipers.
As if its performance specs weren’t impressive enough, the changes made to the racing-inspired exterior have yielded a brazen, attractive-from-every-angle body that’s consistently attention-getting. Not only do the longer nose, new side sills, and distinctive rear spoiler add flash, but they’re also functional, providing increased down-force at high speeds.
The NISMO’s two seat interior features a deeply sculpted gauge cluster, NISMO logo seats, a leather-covered steering wheel, aluminum pedals, a NISMO tachometer, power windows, power door locks, a center console box, and the standard Nissan Intelligent Key. The interior is uncluttered and simplistic; it has everything you need and is refreshingly devoid of extraneous features.
Pricing starts at $39,130 and, with just three available options, (special floor mats for $115, a trunk mat for $95, and illuminated kick plates for $200) you can load it up and drive it home for under $40,000.
Suffice it to say, the NISMO impressed us and, after driving it for seven days, we were sincerely sad to say goodbye. Few cars exhibit a better combination of manners and prowess, speed and control, and all at an affordable price. If you’re looking for a race-bred, factory-tuned sports car that offers extreme performance and intense vivacity, trust us when we say that you need not look any further.
|Price As Tested:||$41,045|
|Date Available:||January 2010|
|Body Style:||2-door coupe|
|Engine & Torque:||3.7-Liter DOHC V6, 350 Horsepower, 276 lb-ft Torque|
|Transmission:||6-Speed Manual with SynchroRev Match|
|Wheels & Tires:||Forged Alloy Wheels: 19 x 9.5 front with 245/40R19, 19 x 10.5 rear with 285/35R19|
|Warranty:||Basic: 36,000 miles / 36 months, Powertrain 60,000 miles / 60 months|
|Fuel Economy:||18 City / 26 Hwy|
|0 – 60 MPH, 1/4 mile||4.5 seconds, 13.5 seconds|
|Top Speed:||155 mph speed limited|