Thursday, February 7, 2013

2014 Nissan 370Z Nismo: Chicago Auto Show

The Nissan Z family has been a sports car staple for decades. Starting with the now iconic 240z, Nissan has built a legacy of fun little roadsters for the masses. Fast forward forty years and you will see that not only the cars' size has increased, but its power output has skyrocketed (relatively speaking) as well. Personally, I was never a fan of the cars produced by Nissan from '76-'87, but all other generations of the car were great in their own quirky way.

Today, we have been blessed by the Nismo gods with the up and coming 2014 Nismo 370Z. "It will go on sale this summer offered in just four exterior colors: Pearl White, Magnetic Black, Gun Metallic and Solid Red. As for the coupe's performance, it still retains the higher 350-horsepower rating from the 3.7-liter V6, which is paired solely to the six-speed manual transmission. Other performance add-ons include a more aerodynamic front fascia and rear spoiler, 19-inch wheels with a sport suspension and a strut tower brace for better rigidity."
With the current 370Z NISMO setting the bar as a tuner-Z® enthusiast's dream straight from the factory and fully warranted – offering 350 horsepower, racing-inspired exterior and interior styling, a specially tuned suspension and unique super-lightweight forged alloy wheels – the enhancements for 2014 are designed to up the car's already strong visual impact. On the exterior, new dark gray coloring is added to the front and rear fascias, lower side sills, side mirrors and NISMO rear spoiler, with each element (except side sills) featuring NISMO-style red pinstripe accents. In addition, Solid Red replaces the previous Magma Red as one of four 370Z NISMO exterior color choices. Interior enhancements include the addition of a new steering wheel with Alcantara appointments and red accents, and a red NISMO tachometer.

The 370Z NISMO's outstanding performance is anchored by an advanced Nissan FM (Front Midship) platform, refined 4-wheel independent suspension and 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL) rated at 350 hp @ 7,400 rpm and 276 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm. The VVEL system helps optimize intake valve open/close movements, allowing the needed air to be sent promptly to the combustion chamber at the precisely optimized time. The 370Z NISMO's enhanced engine power and acceleration (versus non-NISMO 370Zs) is provided through use of an exclusive H-configured exhaust system design and muffler tuning, along with optimized ECM (Engine Control Module) calibration.

Just one transmission is offered, a close-ratio 6-speed manual with Nissan's SynchroRev Match® synchronized downshift rev matching system. The SynchroRev Match® function automatically controls and adjusts engine speed when shifting to the speed of the next gear position, essentially "blipping" the throttle to smooth out any up/down shifts. This not only allows the driver to focus more on braking and steering, it improves the smoothness of gear shifts by reducing the typical "shock" when the clutch is engaged. The system can be deactivated with a button next to the shifter for drivers who prefer to shift on their own."

All that means to me is that there are now minor handling upgrades and some extra bodywork. Of course the Nismo package merely changes the way the car looks, what else would you expect? An actual functional upgrade from one of the most well-know tuning companies out there? No way! That's crazy talk. Luckily the package does make the car look a heck of a lot better, at least in my eyes.

What do you think? Would the Nismo package be worth a cool five grand from the factory? Let us know in the comments below.


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