It has been around for 9 years, but it still looks good. Even so, in car terms, 9 years is an ion.
The 19” forged RAYS alloy wheels look apocalyptic and angry, and exotic materials like carbon fibre are used in construction.
The driveshaft is all carbon fibre.
Nissan’s Nismo touches to the exterior are confined to some cosmetic details like the H-pattern exhaust and the mini spoiler on the hatch lid. The front fascia has been tweaked, but if it wasn’t for the badge, the Nismo would be easily mistaken for any other 370Z.
Although the Nismo sits slightly lower than the base model, the difference is imperceptible.
The pearl white duco glistens alluringly, and you find yourself falling just a little bit in love, almost to spite yourself.
Smart start and entry are among few of the considerations given to modern motoring. You feel like you’ve stepped back in time, especially once you’re inside.
Looking behind the seats, there is rigid stabilser bar that extends across between the suspension towers. It has “racified” (sic) an otherwise slightly ho-hum cabin. The Alcantara and leather seats hold any driver firm, regardless of the enthusiasm with which the steering is flung about.
The single cup holder is useless
There, however, are a couple of small bottle holders in the doors, but only the tiniest of vessels will fit.
On the centre console, you’ll find the climate controls and radio buttons which feel a bit last decade. There is a single zone auto setting for the air conditioning, but all that plastic feels a bit low rent.
The standard Satnav uses a touch screen and a huge rotary dial which is surprisingly easy to use. But, there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto? Nope, nada, nil, zilch.
I liked this look a decade ago, but it is now so old fashioned in the era of tablets and integrated infotainment systems. I expect a little more from a car in the mid 60’s.
The driver’s display uses dials, and bright orange LEDs from game consoles of the 90’s. They could have given it some spit and polish with a single LCD display, but the aging architecture probably wouldn’t allow such mod cons.
There are no driver aids apart from the ABS and stability controls you’d need for even a basic safety rating. There is no lane departure alert, active or otherwise. Nor is there blind spot monitoring, auto parking or AEB.
So, you’re probably thinking this scene is a bit grim, but then you press the starter button.
The moment the Z car splutters in to life, all misdemenours evaporate.
The little Nissan was fabulous on the highway, but the tyres were extremely noisy on anything but the smoothest of smooth tarmac, and I couldn’t have cared less.
The base car has a 0-100 of around 6.1 seconds, but the Nismo didn’t feel appreciably quicker. It is the corners where the Nismo tuning shows up the wannabe challengers for what they are.
The engine really only comes into its own at full pelt. But if you’re happy to listen to the sublime, yet slightly raucous symphony, treating the car like a long, leggy, GT is just as satisfying.
As low as it is, you’d still be fairly happy crossing the country in reasonable comfort. The ride gets a bit choppy over rougher roads, so don’t go on any, and you’ll be tickety-boo.
When I first drove the 370Z, the base model cost an eye-watering 75 grand. Now that model is $54,000 and some change. Such is a sign of the times.
At a smidge over $67,000, the Nismo adds hand hewn, race inspired, technical amazingness.
What we like: Looks, rev matching manual, how it makes you feel.
Not so much: cheap plastic, outdated instruments, lack of driver tech
Price: $67,549 drive away manual
Power: 243kw @ 7,400rpm/371Nm @ 5,200rpm
Trans: 6-speed manual (7 speed auto also available)