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Nissan Nismo Is The No Compromise Sports Coupe

By Veeno Dewan

Developed by Nissan Motorsports (NISMO) in cooperation with partner Autech Japan, The NISMO   is a high performance version of the Nissan Z370 Coupe and arrives in six-speed-manual version with a number of upgrades. It costs $6,000 more than the $46,898 for a standard issue 370Z.

The NISMO adds visual excitement with special equipment such as big rear deck spoiler, swoopy sill extensions, reworked rear fascia and an aggressive front fascia that adds 16.5 centimetres to the Z’s length. Racing- type, lightweight forged 19-inch alloys (with 245/40R front and 285/35R rear performance tires) are fitted to the NISMO Sport and brakes feature 14.0-inch front and 13.8-inch rear vented discs with Four-piston and two-piston aluminum calipers.

Our tester was finished in gleaming “Hakon” white and looked superb. In fact it was quite the head turner looking suitably aggressive and scary.

The engine is equally impressive and makes the Nismo the most powerful production Z model ever offered   with a special 3.7-litre DOHC V6 engine that produces  350 hp and 276 lb.-ft. (up 18 hp) of torque. The higher power output comes courtesy of a freer-flowing exhaust system and reprogrammed engine management systems.

The suspension is also upgraded on the Nismo with special stiffer springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. A rear limited-slip differential comes standard. Interior-wise, the   cabin has an all-black interior and is well finished. A great retro touch is the   three 240Z style dash top gauges for temp, oil, battery and clock.

The black seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel column both feature attractive-looking red stitching. The sport seats are grippy cloth and feature standard 8-way driver and 4-way passenger manual adjustments. Seats are firm and bolstered for extra support, and offer excellent body support when driving. The only down side; I would say is the large black cover for the center storage box which detracts from the overall design.

There is small but good use of space for storage in the NISMO. Behind

the seats are bin-type containers to keep your personal items  in place and the coupe has 6.9 cubic feet of luggage space beneath its hatchback and  4.2 in its conventional trunk. Rear visibility is a bit of a problem, as the thick roof pillars create large blind spots and there is no back up camera.

Nissan’s Advanced Airbag System, active head restraints, roof-mounted Side-impact airbags, security system and tire pressure monitoring system are just a few of the standard safety features included on the NISMO and are well integrated.

On the road, the 2011 Nismo 370Z provides superb    grip and incredible razor-sharp control, but it’s easy to drive and once you get used to the free high revving engines you can time shifts to make you feel like a race car.  The 370Z Nismo makes no apologies for its harsh, super firm rides on less than perfect surfaces. However it offers superbly accurate cornering attitude and tenacious grip as some recompense.

The Z’s extra 18 horses provide amazing acceleration and offers super-sharp throttle responses.   Only a close-ratio, 6-speed manual transmission with Nissan’s SynchroRev Match is available on the NISMO.

This system automatically controls and adjusts engine speed when downshifting into the next gear, by blipping the throttle to ensure smooth shifts. The systems also dampens   your shifts by reducing the normal mechanical   “shock” when the clutch is engaged.

It is always a worry when you have a fast revving engine and a hair trigger clutch in trying to attain perfect shifts. However the SynchroRev is very good at delivering relatively smooth perfect shifts all the time. Note if you prefer matching shifts to the rev counter yourself then the system can be deactivated via a with button located next to the shifter.

Wind the NISMO through fast curves and the cars is really in itselement with a stiff solid chassis and tracks superbly in corners and offers dragster like runs on the highway. The firm grippy seats offer excellent lateral support and are designed so manual gear shifting is not impeded. Urban and city driving is a different kettle of fish as potholes, uneven roads and less than perfect surfaces combined with firm suspension will not be kind to you behind for an extended time!

The NISMO is a fast, hard charging performance coupe that is meant for more serious sports driver who really want rewarding thrills in a new incarnation of the legendary Z car series. This NISMO is one of the best cars ever to take to a track day and begs to be driven as hard and as fast as possible to really get the best out of it. A stunningly beautiful car to own and drive.

2011 Nissan 370Z NISMO priced from $46,898

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