Performance Minded | 2015 Nissan 370Z Nismo

Performance Minded | 2015 Nissan 370Z Nismo

There are few sports coupes today that can live up to the nostalgia of Nissan’s original 300ZX. It struck just the right balance of performance, creature comforts and style in its heyday back in the 1990’s. My brother still owns a 1994 black 300ZX twin turbo, his fourth Z car since high school.

Needless to say, I was excited to get my hands on the 370Z coupe decked out with the Nismo performance package, including a manual transmission (altogether now, “Yessss!”).

2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO

Source: Nissan Image Library

I confess that the 370Z was the first time I experienced true heel-toe driving in a sports car. The Nismo Z has been built to throw the shifter into 2nd and take a tight turn, feeling for signs of rear slippage and adjusting accordingly.

Nissan’s SyncroRev Match® transmission makes slowing down (even if only temporary) seamless. Its 14-inch front brakes and 13.8-inch rear calipers hold this Z coupe steady when it comes to stopping power.

Driving the 370Z you’ll be begging for a corner to appear. You become the hunter; eyeing the road ahead for the next curve, hoping that it’s a sharp one. You anxiously await your next opportunity to floor it and open up the coupe’s 350 horsepower V6. You look forward to downshifting, turning and then rapidly accelerating down the next straightaway, only to be egged on by the Z’s exhaust and tuner sounds pumped into the cabin.

This is the kind of driving you do in the 370Z Nismo.

2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO

Source: Nissan Image Library

The ride rings true of a performance vehicle; it’s a bit rough and bumpy, especially if piloting city roads where potholes are commonplace. But overall, the Nismo If you’re looking for a more refined luxury version, then check out the Z’s cousin, the Infiniti Q60 IPL.

Our Nismo Z showed up in a solid red, which was a lovely color but it disguised the special red Nismo accents on the car’s fascia. I found myself wearing more red that week, somehow subconsciously inspired by the car’s beauty and prowess. I liked the unique the graphite-colored aluminum alloy wheels with bright red calipers peeking through the spokes.

It does OK as a daily driver, but the Z performs best on smooth stretches of pavement with few cars or stops to get in the way of its mission – driving. In order to truly get to know this Z, it needs breathing room; short jaunts won’t do its engine justice.

And like a true sports car, the 370Z Nismo comes with a six-speed manual transmission. The gearbox is nice and tight so it’s easy to run through the gears – even revving it upon launch and hopping over to third gear once out on the open road.

The 370Z Nismo has everything you need and nothing extra. It is not a car meant for refinement, it is a car meant for performance.

The highly bolstered Recaro seats accented with Alcantara mean that no matter how hard you just took that turn, your butt’s not going anywhere.

2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO

Source: Nissan Image Library

The cockpit gives the driver a true sense of what’s happening as well. While the three feature gauges appear oddly Shrek-like from the passenger’s point of view, they are perfectly placed for the driver to eye the car’s vital stats.

The 2015 370Z Nismo we tested was priced at around $46,000, making this Nissan a lot of sports car and performance for the money.

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This article was written by

Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.