The Nissan Z’s reputation has traversed a long and bumpy road since its 1969 debut. First there was the 240Z— brilliant, balanced, light, and clean. Then came the orthodontist’s delight, the 280ZX, and a few hundred pounds of needless weight.
Only the complete game-reset of the fantabulous 1990 300ZX was able to rescue its sports car reputation, and even then it took twin turbos to overcome its pork.In 2003, Nissan shrank the Z back down to size and rediscovered its roots, first as the 350Z. A stunning performance machine, today’s Z might be the best yet—but even Nissan confesses it needs a few tweaks before it gets on the track.
That resulting car is the 370Z NISMO, a special edition that carves seconds off of its lap times. It’s slightly different on paper:
The 3.7-liter V-6 makes 350 horsepower, while the stock car makes 332 hp, and it’s only available with a six-speed manual gearbox, while cushier Zs can come with a seven-speed automatic. The hardcore car mags point to a 0 60 mph time of about 4.5 seconds and a top speed of about 150 mph.