2015 Nissan 370Z Nismo Test Drive: The Four Wheels Japanese Warrior

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 16, 2015

How the new 2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO made its global debut is quite unusual as its arrival at ZDAYZ came as a surprise. Everyone was astonished as it was unveiled at this yearly event attended by those who either own or are fans of Nissan, Datsun and NISMO vehicles.

The mood at the gathering turned into a frenzy when the new 370Z NISMO model was shown and especially when its specs were announced. Aside from the improvements inside and outside, it came with a broader lineup that includes new 370Z NISMO Tech grade as well as both 6-speed manual and 7-speed automatic transmissions.

Nissan Chief Planning Officer and Executive Vice President Andy Palmer said that the decision to have its world debut in front of this crowd composed of its “most loyal and enthusiast owners” was only fitting because the brand considers NISMO to be the “heart and soul” of its performance whether it’s driving on the track or on the road.

Palmer also said that those who love high-performance cars will appreciate that Nissan has widened its lineup of new factory-tuned NISMO models, which already include the recently launched Nissan GT-R NISMO and Nissan JUKE NISMO RS.

NISMO 370Z has advanced handling and performance capabilities with minimal road-input vibrations. These are attributed to its improved 4-wheel independent suspension, NISMO-branded strut tower brace for even more rigid body, and a couple of performance dampers. Its suspension has also been tuned and now has special springs and stabilizer bars. It’s also worthwhile to note that the 2015 370Z NISMO has large Nissan Sport Brakes and a Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD) – with a shorter final drive ratio for an improved acceleration feel - as standard equipment.

Color availability is limited to only four: Solid Red, Magnetic Black, Brilliant Silver and Pearl White. Sales of the 2015 370Z NISMO began in July 2014. Most likely, the first observation from anyone who gets on this model is that the Recaro seats are great and offer a feeling of being strapped down very comfortably. However, the 370Z isn’t very roomy and bigger individuals may consider this an issue.

Just like the previous Nismo models, optional features include contrasting colors on the faux-suede seat inserts, the gauge hood, a red centering stripe on the wheel, and the ten and two positions on the steering wheel. Nissan used only the best-quality materials for these upgrades, making the cabin not just stylish but also highly practical.

In addition, its big cargo area doesn’t disappoint. You should know that the “Tech” model features consist of a 7.0-inch nav screen, a backup camera, an amazing Bose stereo, and Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming. It was in 2008 that the 370Z made its debut and since then, Nissan was able to refine its styling to achieve this stunning but more purposeful appearance that isn’t as street-racer as before.

The modifications to its nose and tail as well as the 3-inch decrease in overall length also improved aerodynamics and boost downforce as an added benefit. Side skirts add to its performance as well as to its sleek looks. Some if its highlights include its redesigned 19-inch Rays Engineering alloys and ducktail spoiler that is comparable to that of a Porsche 911 RS.

Powering the 370Z is the highly regarded 3.7-liter V6 engine, with its torque curve, and quick-revving capability. Its output represents an improvement over the standard model to 350hp and 276 lb-ft., an improvement of 18hp and 6 lb-ft, respectively. Its raspy exhaust note is simply something to rave about to all your friends.

It won’t take long before accelerating the car makes the driver violate speed limits. An expert driver will put the Nismo’s chassis bracing and increased spring rates to good use. However, the car needs updating, particularly its platform. It also won’t hurt if Nissan would do something about its old interior plastics and fuel level and temp gauges that are more on the peculiar side rather than refreshingly unique.

Many complaints have been heard about its rear visibility and so-so steering response. We’re not purists for manuals as there are automatic transmissions that are quicker. However, the 370Z Nismo isn’t included in this bunch. Its hydraulic autobox offers a delay when it’s not in full throttle – a definite disadvantage. Nonetheless, we adore its manual box with its rev matching and gears that are perfectly positioned.

Expert drivers will absolutely enjoy its optimal heel-toe pedal placement as well as its final drive ratio, shortened from 3.69:1 to 3.92:1. When going on the second and third gear ratios, the manual transmission just felt considerably more responsive than the automatic.

Undoubtedly, the 370Z has a lot going for it. Unfortunately, we think it’s priced too high for the value that it offers. In our opinion, the 370Z’s striking looks, ability to turn corners quickly, and cool interiors are not enough to justify the nearly $8,000 price difference over the base car. However, it does deliver on its promise of sports-car style and performance.

Exterior Design

The most significant changes on the 2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO are concentrated on the exterior design. A glance at the car instantly evokes a sense of aggression with its fully integrated aerodynamic elements on the body that are obviously inspired by the GT-R.

These modifications also lead to an optimized front and rear downforce. Among the chief changes are black headlight bezels, a NISMO emblem and signature NISMO red stripe accent positioned on the integrated front chin spoiler, and a deep front fascia that comes with LED Hyper Daytime Running Lights.

This red accent can be seen extending down to the redesigned side sills and on the black-color sideview mirrors and even through the lower part of the restyled rear fascia.

The exclusive NISMO rear spoiler is smaller and now boasts of a new shape. For the 2015 model, there’s a different style for the standard 19-inch NISMO super-lightweight forged aluminum-alloy wheels by RAYS.

They now feature a twin-five spoke design and the silver color has been replaced with a charcoal gray machine-finish.

Interior Design

The NISMO interior is already unique but it has been enhanced with a set of NISMO-exclusive remodelled Recaro leather-appointed seats in black-and-red and with Alcantara accents.

The automaker considered the impact of acceleration, braking and cornering on the human body and made sure that these seats offer a more uniform pressure and better holding no matter what the direction is during vigorous movements.

There’s no doubt that fans will be pleased about the finer details, including its red seat trim and stitching with NISMO logo, the NISMO red tachometer, and a steering wheel covered with leather and Alcantara.

To go with the times, the 2015 range includes the 370Z NISMO Tech model. If you’re a tech buff, you’ll be ecstatic that your vehicle comes with a hard drive-based Nissan Navigation System with 7.0-inch VGA touch-sensitive display, a RearView Monitor, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth, auto-dimming rearview mirror and HomeLink Universal Transceiver, a Bose Audio System, and a SiriusXM Satellite Radio (which requires a SiriusXM subscription).

In addition, its big cargo area doesn’t disappoint. You should know that the “Tech” model features consist of a 7.0-inch nav screen, a backup camera, an amazing Bose stereo, and Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming.

Powertrain

A 350 hp 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL) is available for the 2015 370Z NISMO just like in the prior model years. To go with this engine, Nissan gave the car an exclusive, tuned H-configured exhaust system design and muffler tuning as well as an optimized calibration that adds 18 hp to its power output.

Its torque is equally impressive at 276 lb-ft. For the first time ever, there will be two transmission options offered on the Z NISMO model. SynchroRev Match is featured on the close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission.

It is referred as a breakthrough synchronized downshift rev matching manual transmission that enables heel-toe-like downshifting. Nissan also offers a refined 7-speed automatic with Downshift Rev Matching (DRM), Adaptive Shift Control and manual shift mode with paddle shifters.

As a result, the 370Z Nismo accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 5.0 seconds, while top speed is 155 mph. Nissan says that its sports car will deliver a fuel economy of 26 mpg on the highway and 18 mpg in the city.

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