Nissan, amid much speculation, have just released details of the new 370Z Nismo. Way back in 2009 reviewers were drooling with excitement at this tweaked sportscar, but also lamenting the fact that it wasn’t to be officially available in the UK.
Roll forward a few years to the present, and we have the exciting news that the 370Z Nismo is at last on it’s way to Europe. The much coveted vehicle has been available in the US and Japan for some time so what can we expect from the European version?
Nismo is abbreviated from Nissan Motorsport International Ltd, the performance side of Nissan and is essentially a way of customising your car in much the same way that Empi was to the Beetle a few decades ago – although the difference here is that Nismo is sanctioned – it’s official stuff.
The nice thing about Nismo is that it is backwards compatible, if you have a 240SX you can still contact Nismo to give it a bit of a lift, so to speak – it’s not just for the sportscar in your life.
Nismo has been available in the UK since 2009 through their official partner, Middlehurst Nissan in St Helens, the home of Nissan Motorsport. And if you’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with Middlehurst you will know just how friendly, and good at what they do that they are.
The 370Z Nismo we are told, is all about engaging the driver and improving driver enjoyment more than increasing speed and torque. What we see is that the 370Z gets a bit of ‘Nismo tuning’ to its 3.7 litre engine plus a dual exhaust. There will be an increase in power giving around 339bhp / 273lb ft. 0-62mph is 0.1 seconds quicker, I defy anyone to notice that, maybe why Nismo have taken the attention away from the figures and highlighted driving experience – certainly not knocking that of course, it wouldn’t be the first time that Nismo have improved the excitement of being behind the wheel.
Suspension will be 10mm lower than the current car already is, which would almost definitely rule out a couple of routes out of my home area due to traffic calming (my pet hate) for fear of replicating that awful grinding sound reverberating around the cabin as you tackle yet another bump in the road too enthusiastically. Once you’ve heard it, you’ll not do it again – trust me. The suspension will also be 15 per cent stiffer than standard.
The 370Z Nismo borrows a few ideas from its bigger brother the GT-R for good measure too. High performance break fluid improves breaking while a fixed rear spoiler and attractive front and rear skirts give the zed a downforce similar to the GT-R itself.
It’s a subtle look that follows in the wake of the JUKE Nismo, which is now well on it’s way to becoming something that you can actually see and touch rather than just order through your dealership. The JUKE Nismo will cost a reasonable £19,995 and will feature the usual sporty handling and aerodynamic body kit the company is known for.
Close to a third of a million Jukes have been built at the Nissan plant in Sunderland since it first appeared in 2010 amid displays of parkour free running and enthusiastic pitching to the youth market by men in suits. And the UK can again show some pride in the collaboration with Nismo to get this new project up and running.
The JUKE interior will have suede trimmed sports seats with red stitching, while the red theme is continued outside with red wing mirrors and pin stripe detailing on the body. The 370Z doesn’t get left out of the Nismo red detailing either with it’s own subtle pin stripe detailing. The JUKE will have a top speed of 134mph and travel from 0-62 miles in 7.8 seconds.
I think the idea of Nismo is best suited to the genuine sportscar rather than its more standard, tamer cousin, but it’s all about sales figures in the great scheme of things, and the JUKE Nismo has had a healthy amount of pre-orders just to confirm that there is indeed a market for this kind of thing, as if we didn’t already know.
First deliveries of the JUKE Nismo will commence in March while the 370Z Nismo is likely to be available in June 2013.