Words: Don Cheng
Photography: Don Cheng
Published: Sept 6, 2018
The Nissan 370Z hasn’t had any major revisions since its introduction in 2009 when it replaced a similar looking 350Z. In the automotive industry that’s quite the feat, as manufacturers will iterate year after year, adding new features and refining designs to suit the fancy of prospective owners. To see a model remain largely untouched for nearly a decade must mean it’s got quite a foothold in the segment, which is perhaps what’s so intriguing about the 370Z and its top-spec model, the NISMO.
Visually, the 370Z NISMO ups the ante with a more aggressive body kit. An exclusive NISMO bumper gives the coupe a menacing look through a larger front air dam and an integrated front lip spoiler, though I find that the red stripe makes the fascia appear like a catfish. A subtle alternate side skirt adorns both sides, tying the generally more aggressive styling together. Round back, the fenders have been stretched a bit, giving the rear end a roughly 1.6 cm wider track from standard 370Zs. The Fast and Furious style wing of the 2012 NISMO has been swapped for a more contemporary ducktail spoiler.
While the exterior manages to hold its own in this day and age, the inside betrays the timeless demeanor. Nissan has done some work to dress it up in this version of the coupe with red contrast stitching and alcantara inserts, and the pair of Recaro bucket seats look right at home. They utilize knobs that you twist to adjust, and are quite fiddly to get right within the confines of a closed door. But the biggest misstep here is the abundant cheap plasticky bits littered throughout, especially around the poorly disguised dummy buttons, which for a top level trim, shouldn’t exist.
Nissan has bucked the trend of smaller-displacement force-induced motors and instead opted to stay the course with a free breathing V6. So much so, that you wonder if corporate had forgotten that the vehicle still exists in their lineup altogether. Yet despite the lack of progressive growth, the 370’s staying power is undeniable. Nissan’s venerable 3.7L V6 provides 350 Japanese horses, while a 6-speed manual transmission (your only option if you want a NISMO) helps direct that grunt to the rear wheels. What Nissan’s motorsport division has done however was revise (read: stiffen up) the dampers, springs, and sway bars.
Unlike competitors who have adopted technologies to offer variable dampers, Nissan’s persistence of the unadulterated Z formula shuns all of those modern touches. The result is a raw and unapologetic driving experience. The chassis feels alive, constantly providing you with feedback of the road surface - every divot and peak is communicated to your derriere. The steering furthers that connection to the road. It’s a hydraulic unit - a rarity nowadays as most manufacturers have moved to an electric rack - which means it’s incredibly responsive. Instead of numb steering feel, it’s your hands that go numb from the vibrations of the road. It’s heavier, especially in low speed situations, and you can’t adjust the weight via a knob or switch. Like the rest of the car, it’s always in Sport.
Competitors have been toiling away at distilling and bottling the 370Z’s experience for you to unleash with the push of a Sport button. Nissan’s steadfast commitment to pure driving feel does away with the electronic riff raff and delivers an invigorating experience with no questions asked. Yet, it’s this strength that also marks the NISMO’s greatest weakness. The sport tuned suspension handles great but is jarring in the city. Its sexy proportions and slick silhouette, while cumulative to a well handling machine, hampers storage space. It makes owning one a single purpose entity and with a price tag just north of $48,000, that’s a hard pill for many to swallow, especially when that price point spits out results like a Ford Mustang GT or a Chevrolet Camaro V6 1LE. Thankfully, owners need not opt for the NISMO version to enjoy all the spoils, as the base 370Z start at just a hair under $30,000, and is frankly the one I would choose to put in my own garage.
Model: 2019 Nissan 370Z NISMO
Paint Type: Solid Red
Base Price: $48,498
Price as Tested: $48,498
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,550
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,330 / 1,870 / 1,315
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,567
引擎 Engine: 3.7-litre V6
最大馬力 Horsepower: 350 hp @ 7,400 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 276 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed manual
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, RWD
油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km: 13.3 / 9.3 / 11.5
輪胎尺碼 Tires: Dunlop SP Sport MAXX GT600