Nissan’s Nismo Shows What It Can Do When Given a 370Z to Play With

2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO

For some, the choice of a muscular front-engine, rear-wheel drive car is simple. Mustang or nothing, Camaro or nothing — and those are logical, easy choices for many. But for those without such allegiances to one brand or nameplate, Nissan (NSANY.PK) may have just made their decision a little bit harder.

On Friday, the Japanese manufacturer pulled back the wraps on the latest in the long, proud line of Z-badged cars, the 370Z Nismo. While the base layer 370Z is by no means a slouch, the Nismo kicks everything up a notch — takes it to 11, as it were. Aerodynamics are up, interior comforts are up, and logically speaking, fun is up too.

“There’s much more to love about the 370Z NISMO than ever before – the new appearance inside and out, enhanced handling, new wheels, more technology and a choice of transmissions,” said Nissan Chief Planning Officer and Executive Vice President Andy Palmer. 

The new car comes with a six speed manual (from earlier, no surprise), but also now offers the choice of a 7-speed automatic with Downshift Rev Matching, Adaptive Shift Control, and a manual shift mode with paddle shifters. Whatever box you put in will handle the 350 horsepower produced from the same 3.7 liter V6. With some clever exhaust work, Nissan was able to squeeze out 18 extra horses over the standard Z.

2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO

It also produces about six pound-feet more in torque, at 276, over the standard non-Nismo model. Inside the cabin, there’s a new set of black and red Recaro leather seats with Alcantara trim, which are exclusive to the Nismo model. Also a first for the performance brand is a Tech package that offers a navigation system on a seven-inch touchscreen, Nissan’s RearView Monitor, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and Bose audio with Bluetooth.

The rims, which are super lightweight forged aluminum-alloy wheels, are brand spankin’ new for the 2015 (and again exclusive to the Nismo), courtesy of Rays. They’re accented by the GT-R-inspired bodykit, new LED work, blacked-out headlamp bezels, and various other cosmetic touches that make the car look much more aggressive.

Pricing hasn’t yet been announced, but like the Mustangs and Camaros of the world, the Nismo Z has historically stood for a lot of fun and performance for not as much money. For buyers looking at dedicated driver’s cars, the new Nismo will certainly give them reason to pause before rushing into a hasty decision.