Based off Datsun’s iconic 240Z series from the 1970s, Nissan’s 370Z resides on my design shelf as one of my favorite sports cars of the last 15 years. Now the company has unveiled a visually reworked, more powerful NISMO 370Z that recently made its world debut at the Nissan ZDAYZ event in North Carolina.
NISMO (short for Nissan Motorsport International Limited) is the performance arm of Nissan, responsible for providing power and tuning enhancements over and above the typical showroom offerings. The 2015 370Z NISMO, only vaguely similar in aesthetic and technological appointments to its iconic ancestor, still uses the same front engine, rear wheel configuration.
Running Nissan’s 3.7 liter V6, the NISMO variant develops 350 hp (261 kW) – 18 horsepower more than the stock 370Z – thanks to the addition of a tuned H exhaust system and muffler, plus a recalibration of the car’s tuning chip. Torque figures show the V6 developing 276 lb.ft (374 Nm) of twisting power to the back wheels.
Handling gear changes is the job of either a 6 speed manual or a 7-speed automatic featuring Nissan’s Downshift Rev Matching tech that blips the throttle to match engine speed to the upcoming gear. The NISMO 370Z also receives suspension upgrades in the form of enhanced performance dampers, better springs and stabilizer bars. And Nissan reports the addition of very large sport brakes to help in deceleration tasks on track days, plus a reconfigured viscous limited-slip differential with a shorter final drive.
Aesthetically the 370Z NISMO gets a number of design revisions. To increase overall downforce, both the front and rear fascias have been enhanced. A new chin spoiler with GT-R influences has also been added to the mix to assist in aerodynamics. 19-inch forged aluminum wheels receive new paint, which play off the car’s other design elements like new LED running lights and black headlight bezels. The NISMO logo is also strategically located about the exterior.
Inside, the new 370Z has custom-made black and red Recaro racing seats made especially for the NISMO version. A hard drive-based navigation system is also part of the package, as are such goodies as a 7-inch VGA touch display, Bose sound system, and a Homelink Universal Transceiver.
Nissan’s 2015 370Z NISMO will be offered in four colors and is set to go on sale in the US starting this July. Prices start at US$44,000.