The original Z was one of the first, and best, arguments for Japanese sports cars. A country better known for cost-effectiveness than style finally got a chance to show off just how great it was, and a lot of car enthusiasts were never the same. Nissan is trying to recapture that feeling, a bit, with the new 370Z Nismo.
The Same Inside, With One Key Difference
First of all, the updates to the internals are pretty minimal in most cases. The engine, for example, is the same as last year’s model, a 3.7 liter V6. Not that it’s not zippy, but it’s not an overhaul either.
More intriguing is the fact that for the first time, there’s an automatic transmission. Don’t worry, purists, the six-speed manual is still standard, but the automatic has downshift rev matching and a manual mode with paddle shifters for those who sometimes want an automatic.
Far Different Outside
The big changes are to the visible parts of the car. The new body was inspired quite a bit by the GT-R, and it has a deeper fascia, LED lights, a chin spoiler, and a much more restrained rear spoiler than last years model. The interior is red and black leather and the exterior has plenty of red accents, just in case you thought Nissan doesn’t commit to a color scheme.
Zoom Zoom Zoom
In all, the changes are mostly cosmetic in nature, but they do make a pretty big difference when added up. The new model will probably only slightly outperform last year’s, but in terms of looks, you’re a lot less likely to be mistaken for a spoiled teenager when people see you on the road. Essentially, Nissan made a sports car from the grown-ups, and it’ll be interesting to see how fans of the Z react.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.