Every automaker needs letters denoting which models incorporate high performance tuning. BMW has its M, Mercedes-Benz has its AMG, Lexus has its F, and Nissan its NISMO. That last, which stands for Nissan Motorsports, has just been added to Nissan's new sports car, the 370Z. We reviewed the Nissan 370Z Coupe last year, but only recently got to drive the 2009 Nissan 370Z NISMO.
Nissan took the standard 370Z Coupe, a very impressive sports car in its own right, and bumped up the power, fitted it with custom wheels, and stiffened the suspension. Body mods include chin and rear spoilers, a rear bumper with wheel well vents, and even an extended nose for better aerodynamic performance. The NISMO letters find their way onto the sport seats, the tachometer, and the rear badging. The result is a car that will be fun at weekend track events, but terrible for the daily commute.
We spent a good afternoon throwing a 370Z NISMO around the bends of colorfully named mountain blacktops such as Ice Cream Grade and Pine Flat Road (the latter not being flat at all). Having just gotten out of a 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster gave us an excellent opportunity to note the NISMO upgrades to the standard 370Z. The thing that stands out the most is the ride quality, very harsh in the 370Z NISMO compared to the 370Z Roadster. We could feel the road's various textures being communicated up through the tires to our spinal cords. … Read more