For 30 years Nismo has been heating up Nissan models and their latest work on the 370Z is more than just a gentle warm through. Sharper styling, beefier brakes and suspension, and an extra 15bhp of shove makes the new 370Z Nismo a tough act to follow for the £36,995 pricetag.
The stock Nissan 370Z is a good-looking car. Chunky, hunkered and with the kind of purposeful look a gunslinger would be proud of. You can buy one of the normal Zs for at least £26,995 from your Nissan dealer now and you’ll get those seductive curves and a 322bhp 3.7-litre V6 motor with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The 2013 model year 370s kick off some £3,000 cheaper than last year’s cars, which is nice. But if you want more, and you want to make the most of rear-driving, distinctly drift-able chassis, then you’d better take a look at the Nismo.
Nismo (for Nissan Motorsport International Limited) has been tuning road and race cars since they were formed in the early 80s by the joining of two squads of established Nissan tuning appendages; one from track and one from road. Indeed, one of their very first builds as the new Nismo tuning force was the snorting Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R. Way to kick it off, guys!
Nismo’s main focus over the years has been GT racing; taking road cars and turning them into 500bhp+ track terrorists; keeping the silhouette of the road car, but then adding the power and generally a set of really wide, wide arches; know as Super Silhouette.
These days things are a little more restrained, but the attention to detail and high quality engineering remain. Nismo has earned a solid reputation for their aftermarket parts – aero, brakes, suspension, wheels, engine internals – and this new 370Z Nismo gets some good stuff.
The ultimate 370Z gets an extra 14bhp over the standard Z – taking power to 340bhp – as well as a subtle yet serious bodykit, uprated suspension and brakes, and a sports exhaust. Sounds like a cracking combination of beef-ups for the big Z, but at a full £10,000 on top of the base model asking price, you’d wonder if you couldn’t do it cheaper yourself, using pukka Japanese aftermarket products from the like of HKS (engine, exhaust and suspension), Rays Wheels (lightweight rims) and perhaps a touch of Do-Luck or VeilSide for the bodywork.
To match the Nismo upgrades one-for-one with other brands of power-ups would come close – or cost more – than the £10k Nismo upgrade, but then you would have a more individual Z than the mass market Nismo Z. However, those Nismo engineers would balance every modification perfectly with its partner and while that’s something you could achieve with other quality Japanese parts from the aftermarket, you’d spend a far chunk on set up and tuning labour costs too. Happily, the choice when it comes to tuning performance Japanese cars is ours, and endless in possibilities.
By Dan Anslow