2015 Nissan 370Z Nismo

The 370Z NISMO is a high-performance version of the 370Z Coupe developed by Nissan's Specialty Vehicles Group in conjunction with tuning partner Autech Japan. It boasts a race-inspired interior and exterior, specially tuned suspension, and lightweight alloy wheels.

Recent Changes
For the latest model year, the 370Z NISMO gains updated exterior styling, redesigned Recaro seats, a new Tech trim level, and an optional seven-speed automatic transmission.

Overview
The NISMO model is the most extreme 370Z available from the factory, a fact that its aggressive sheetmetal announces loudly and proudly. Up front, new touches include a much more aggressive fascia along with black headlight bezels and LED daytime running lights. Fresh side sills adorn the flanks, and a new bumper and downsized rear spoiler reside around back.

Other stylistic changes that set it apart from the rest of the Z-car lineup include black and red accents on the front and rear fascias, side sills, mirrors and rear spoiler.

The 370z NISMO continues to use a tuned version of Nissan's 3.7-liter "VQ" V6 that produces 350 horsepower and 276 lb-ft of torque - gains of 18 ponies and 6 lb-ft over the base model.

Transmission choices include a seven-speed automatic and a six-speed manual. Notably, the latter features SynchroRev Match, the world's first synchronized downshift rev-matching manual gearbox system. SynchroRev Match"function controls and adjusts engine speed when shifting to the speed of the next gear position, essentially "blipping" the throttle to smooth out any downshifts.

Fuel economy is rated at 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway for the stick shift, while the automatic is one mpg thriftier in the city.

The 370Z NISMO's upgrades aren't limited to extra power - the coupe also features a stiffened suspension that allows for sharper handling. Compared to a standard 370Z Coupe, front spring rates have been dialed up 15 percent, rear spring rates 10 percent, the front stabilizer bar rate was upped 15 percent, and the rear stabilizer bar is 50 percent stiffer. The roll stiffness rate has been increased by 15 percent and front and rear damping factors have been increased by 40 percent and 140 percent, respectively.

The 370Z NISMO rides on restyled five-spoke NISMO-branded 19-inch RAYS forged aluminum-alloy wheels (19x9.5-inch front, 19x10.5-inch rear) mounted with Yokohama ADVAN Sport Y-rated high-performance tires (P245/40ZR19 front, P285/35ZR19 rear).

Bringing the action to a stop are standard NISMO Sport Brakes with large-diameter 14.0-inch front and 13.8-inch rear vented rotors with four-piston front and two- piston rear aluminum calipers. The calipers are covered in red paint on all 2013s. Braking performance has been increased slightly thanks to high-rigidity brake hoses with R35 Special II brake fluid flowing through them.

Inside, the coupe offers a track-inspired cockpit with room for up to two passengers. The instrument cluster consists of two analog gauges and a configurable thin-film transistor (TFT) screen, and three additional gauges mounted on top of the center stack hark back to the iconic Datsun 240Z coupe of the 1970s while providing the driver with vital information about what is going on in the engine bay.

Special combination leather/alcantara Recaro seats set the NISMO apart from the standard model, as do red seat trim and stitching, an alcantara-appointed steering wheel and a NISMO red tachometer.

Standard and Optional Features
The 370Z NISMO is offered in base model and Tech trim levels.

In standard forms, the coupe comes well equipped with NISMO-embroidered cloth seats with red stitching and power adjustability, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, aluminum-trimmed pedals, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo system with an AUX input, a proximity key, push-button start, LED taillights and 19-inch NISMO forged alloy wheels.

The Tech trim brings a navigation with 7.0-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, Bluetooh streaming audio, a Bose audio system with SiriusXM satellite radio, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a Homelink universal transceiver.

Occupant Safety
All 370Z NISMO models come standard with dual front, front side and side-curtain airbags in addition to stability and traction control systems and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

Key Competitors
Perhaps the closest rival to the 370Z NISMO is the Chevrolet Camaro SS equipped with the track-inspired 1LE package. Unlike the smaller, V6-powered NISMO, the Camaro is a big bruiser with a muscle-bound V8, but the 1LE package adds a unique suspension that makes it dance around the corners like a much lighter machine.

Other potential cross-shopping options include slightly less handling-focused rides like the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and the Ford Mustang GT.