Japanese sports cars have always been a favorite of mine; they have great lines and styling, are easy on the wallet when it comes to the gas pump, and when tuned properly can move very fast with great maneuverability. Recently we reviewed the 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster with the optional touring package and, in all honesty, the car was a blast to drive. It handled well and had a great power plant with great looks to match, but now I am delighted to be in the presence of a different version of the 370Z. This version, one that is more aggressive and powerful, can only be found in the 2010 370Z Nismo edition. This car reminds me that the era of the Japanese sports cars that I favored did not go away with the Supra, RX7, and the rest of the big Japanese cars, but is alive and well. The best part is that Nissan is still true to the original Z car introduced to the market almost 40 years ago while providing a plethora of Z cars to match the needs, budgets, and stylings of most drivers.
In its standard versions the 3.7-liter VQ-series V6 engine from the Nissan 370Z and Infiniti G37 develops a total of 330 hp. Its good, but not impressive for a sports car like the 370Z. So Stillen comes with a Supercharger System that raises the power to an impressive 515 hp for both models.
The tuner designed a new cast aluminum intake manifold specifically for this system, featuring longer runners and a large plenum for the engine to draw air, complete with integrated air-to-water intercooler system, dramatically cooling the air charge from the Vortech V-3 Supercharger unit. The tuning steps include: an ECU based tuning device, larger 600cc injectors, and high output fuel pump.
In the world of import sport cars, or as some would call it sport compact cars, many enthusiasts can say that they have seen many models that would cater to their lifestyle come and go from various automakers. We have seen makes like the Toyota Supra come and evolve into a force not to be trifled with on and off the tracks. The same can be said for the earlier versions of the Mazda RX7 and the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4. The problem with all of these Japanese powerhouses, who ran strong and were very popular in their prime, was that they started fading away leaving the sports compact consumer in wait for the next best thing.
Such was the case with the Nissan 300zx twin turbo. For the Nissan freaks, this car had it all: V6 twin turbocharged VG30 engine, limited slip differential, Bose sound system, big brakes, and styling that was true to the heritage of the original Z car. Then suddenly in 1996 Nissan announces that the 300ZX would not come back becoming yet another casualty of great Japanese sports cars we would never see again.
It’s true – at least for the most part - that just about every car you see being sold on a place like eBay has some kind of story to tell.
The story behind this Nissan 370Z Roadster is a doozy, even for our standards.
Here’s the deal: A well-off man bought this 370Z for a girl he was seriously attracted to and tried to ‘buy’ her affection through a spanking-new Nissan sports car. Problem is, the girl was neither swayed by the gift nor did her feelings for the said young buck change. So she did what any girl would do: she asked her pop to sell the car and that’s why it’s on eBay.
Here in the U.S. we know it as the Nissan 370Z 40th Anniversary Edition, however in Europe the celebratory Z34 will be sold as the 370Z Black Edition. Quite appropriately, only 370 examples of the special edition Nissan 370Z coupe will make their way to the European shores and prices in the U.K. will start at £33,645 for a manually shifted version and go up to £35,045 for an automatic equipped Z car.
On the outside, the 370Z Black Edition is distinguished by its obligatory black paint scheme, a set of dark gray forged aluminum RAYS wheels measuring 19 inches in diameter housing a set of red brake calipers and bespoke 40th Anniversary emblems on the back bumper.
The interior upgrades consist of red leather buckets with embossed 40th Anniversary logos, red inserts in the door panels, leather wrapped steering wheel with red accent stitching, matching red stitching on the center stack and Nissan’s Connect Premium, a state of the art touch screen satellite navigation unit with integrated audio controls and USB connectivity for all of your MP3 playing needs.
It has been less then a year since we saw the new Z33 replace the old 350Z Roadster with the 370Z Roadster, a lighter, shorter and more powerful version of the classic sports car. However as the top goes down the asking price goes up to $36,970 from the fixed roof version’s sub $30,000 starting point.
Just like the 370Z coupe, the rag top is powered by a 3.7 Liter DOHC V6 making 332 HP, up 26 HP from the old VQ35 engine thanks to the new Variable Valve Event and Lift control (VVEL) which manipulates the motor’s breathing too ensure optimum respiration and allows for the car’s redline to be raised by 1000 revs all the way up to 7500 RPM while returning an estimated fuel economy of 18 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway. The engine is mated to either a seven speed automatic with Downshift Rev Matching or a close ratio six speed manual with throttle blipping SynchroRev Match for perfectly matched heel toe downshifting.
The 370Z Roadster is being offered in two different trim levels, made up of the base 370Z Roadster and a Touring edition. The more luxurious version will be available with more upgrade packages consisting of the Sport Package that brings a set of 19 inch RAYS forged wheels wrapped in sticky Bridgestone Potenza tires, Nissan Sport Brakes, the SynchroRev Match feature on the 6 speed manual version and a Viscous Limited Slip Differential to ensure that the driver can get the tail out whenever desired. There will also be a Navigation Package that is based on a Hard Drive Nissan Navigation System as well as a 9.3GB Music Box Hard Drive and USB connectivity for all your MP3 playing needs at speed with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face.
Full details and more pics in the press release after the jump.
Unveiled back in 2009 with an even sharper Z shape, Nissan is already making minor improvements to the second year 370Z. Upgrading items like the Navigation Package contents, heated mirrors and in cabin micro filter to improve air quality as well as one new tantalizing color, Black Cherry, all starting at just $29,990.
Compared to the old Z33 350Z’s four trim lineup (regular, Enthusiast, Touring and Grand Touring), the current generation Z34 will only be sold in base and Touring trims. Allowing owners a bit more creature comfort, the Japanese automaker will then allow new car buyers two option packages, Sport and Navigation. Powered by a VQ37VHR 3.7 Liter V6 with VVEL rated at 332 HP and 270 lb-ft of torque, mated to either a 6 speed manual or a 7 speed automatic with auto blipping Downshift Rev Matching and Adaptive Shift Contro. The combination is good for an estimated 18 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway.
The exterior design revisions include sharpened boomerang HID light clusters as well as a revised front end and wider arches. Meanwhile the interior benefits from a few new upgraded materials while maintaining the classic trio of gauges on the dash. It would appear that Nissan only improved upon what we thought was pretty perfect.
The Gran Turismo 5 Time Trial Challenge was first announced back on December 3, and the contest got underway last thursday on December 17th and will continue on into next year ending on January 25, 2010. Players can download the special demo directly to their PlayStation 3 video game consoles via the PlayStation Network and start logging laps at one of the U.S.’s most famous race tracks for the chance to attend the big race that will take place their next May.
The Gran Turismo 5 Time Trial Challenge allows gamers the opportunity to get behind the wheel of both a showroom stock and tuner transformed Nissan 370Z and essentially compete in a virtual time attack battle on the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s infield road course layout. The player who can clock the quickest combined lap time for both time trials will win a VIP package to the brickyard so that they can witness the 2010 Indy 500 in person. Keeping things competitive on either side of the border, one winner chosen from the U.S. and the other from Canada. In addition to the two fastest entrants, five runner ups in the US and five from Canada will receive a voucher code so that they can get their own version of Gran Turismo for the PSP when it finally arrives in stores. If there was ever an excuse to play Gran Turismo for hours on end, this is it.
The Japanese tuning firm Powerhouse Amuse has a long history creating unique Nissans. However as wild as their latest styling exercise with the Z34 might be, you will be able to park this one in your driveway at home. Based on the current Nissan 370Z, Powerhouse Amuse’s Vestito body kit wraps up the most recent Z car in a very interesting new skin, perhaps that is why the new aero package carries the same name as the Italian word for suit.
The Vestito kit adds an equal mix of fun and function to the Nissan’s exterior by combining an oversized rear wing with a wide mouth front bumper complete with carbon fiber winglets on either side and then finishes the whole thing off with a set of BB LM-R rims. The new fascia makes the car look less menacing from the front, but as soon as you see the box spoiler approaching you know that this 370Z isn’t playing around, and the race car spec rolling stock only serve to elevate the 21st century Z car’s credibility as a high performance machine. Best of all, because Powerhouse Amuse knows that functional styling makes their parts look better and more desirable, the Japanese tuners are planning to take the suited up 370 out on the track for some high speed testing to ensure that the Vestito kit does more than just make the Nissan 370Z look good.
When it comes to tuning Nissan’s latest generation Z car, owners have more options to choose from then we can shake a stick at. As it comes from the factory the Nissan 370Z is a terrific automobile, but the lure of the aftermarket can be too much for some enthusiasts to resist and whether they are after performance, style or both; Advanced Performance Parts has what they are looking for. Starting out with a set of staggered 20 inch Lexor Oxigin rims housing a Stoptech High Performance brake kit with 6 piston calipers up front and KW coilover suspension all the way around, finishing off the upgrades is an MR Car Design performance exhaust system that ensures the 370Z’s bark is as aggressive as its bite.