First Look: 2010 Nissan Nismo 370Z

First Look: 2010 Nissan Nismo 370Z

Nissan's new 370Z may be quite nimble, but those hankering for a track-ready package should consider stepping up to the new 2010 Nismo 370Z, which debuts at the 2009 New York auto show.

Like the Nismo 350Z before it, the new car receives a host of suspension revisions designed to glue the Z to the track. Nismo (Nissan's in-house tuning firm) adds a front strut tower brace, performance dampers, increases the front spring rates by 15 percent, and stiffens the rear coils by 10 percent. Coupled with thicker stabilizer bars, the tweaks increase the 370Z's damping factor by 40 percent in front and a whopping 140 percent in the rear.

In order to provide power to match the track prowess, Nismo also fiddled with the Z's engine. The 3.7-liter V-6 is almost identical to that in a normal 370Z, but thanks to a Nismo exhaust system and a tricked-out engine control module, it sees a substantial boost in power. The Nismo-tuned mill produces 350 hp at 7400 rpm (vs. 332 hp @ 7000 rpm) and 276 lb-ft of torque (up from 270) at 5200 rpm. Nismo 370Zs are only available with a six-speed manual transmission, which is equipped with the trick rev-matching system.

Nismo also modifies the 370Z's exterior, adding a new elongated front fascia. Although it does clean up the Z's front appearance, the new snout also incorporates a chin spoiler and twin canards to improve downforce. New side sills are designed to match, and a giant rear spoiler, inspired by racing-spec Zs, is again part of the package. So too are Rays aluminum wheels - these 19-inch pieces are unique to the Nismo Z, although the large vented disc brakes are culled from the 370Z's Sport Package.

The Nismo model throws in a few interior touches, including red stitching on the leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Nismo logos on the tachometer and cloth bucket seats, and aluminum-trimmed pedals. Don't look for an iPod dock or navigation - the Nismo 370Z makes do with the base four-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo system, and options are otherwise limited to selecting one of five paint colors (red, white, silver, graphite, or black).

Nissan hasn't discussed pricing for the new Nismo model, but does expect cars to arrive at U.S. dealerships sometime in June 2009.

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