Track Tested: 2009 Nissan Nismo 370Z vs. 2009 Nissan 370Z Touring


2009-nismo-grp-nissan-ot-555-1.jpg

As factory track models go, the 2009 Nissan Nismo 370Z is not the most hard-core beast ever built on a production line. Then again, it's no sticker-and-stripe-job either. Underneath the aggressive new bodywork is a substantially revised suspension and a slightly more powerful version of Nissan's latest 3.7-liter V6.

So how does it all work, you say? Well we wanted to find out too, so we took the new Nismo out to our test facility to run some numbers. Then we compared the results to our long-term 2009 370Z Touring.

It was a moderate day in terms of temperature for both tests, but both of the 370s had auxiliary engine oil coolers so all the track work wasn't much of a problem. Once the results started to come  in, however, the Nismo continually failed to deliver any better numbers than our standard car. Whether it was braking (worse), acceleration (same) or handling (same, but scarier), the Nismo never came out ahead. Actually, it did beat the standard 370Z in one category -- full-throttle decibel level. See the full results and explanations after the jump.

2009-nismo-grp-nissan-ot-555-2.jpg

2009-nismo-actf34-nissan-ot-555-1.jpg Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Nismo 370Z

Odometer: 1,027
Date: 06/16/09
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Price: $39,340

Specifications:
Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type:   6-speed manual
Engine Type: V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in):  3,696cc (226 cu-in)
Redline (rpm): 7,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):   350 @ 7,400
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm):   276 @ 5,200
Brake Type (front):   Ventilated disc
Brake Type (rear):   Ventilated disc
Steering System: Speed-proportional power steering
Suspension Type (front):   Double-wishbone
Suspension Type (rear): Multilink
Tire Size (front): 245/40R19
Tire Size (rear):  285/35R19
Tire Brand: Yokohama
Tire Model: Advan Sport
Tire Type: Summer performance
Wheel Size: 19-by-9.5-inches front; 19-by-10.5-inches rear
Wheel Material (front/rear):   Alloy
As tested Curb Weight (lb):   3,356

Test Results:
0 - 30 (sec):  2.1 
0 - 45 (sec):  3.6 
0 - 60 (sec):  5.3 
0 - 75 (sec):  7.7 
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 13.6 @ 103.2
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 5.1
30 - 0 (ft): 28
60 - 0 (ft): 115
Braking Rating: Poor  
Slalom (mph): 70.4
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.91
Handling Rating: Very Good
Db @ Idle: 47.1
Db @ Full Throttle: 84.8
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 72.9

Acceleration Comments:  More than enough power to blow off its tires at launch. Best launch from about 4,800 rpm with some wheelspin. Gnarly rubber going into 2nd. Can't try too hard, however, or you'll miss entirely. It hates fast shifts.

Braking Comments: Clearly, pad bedding is important on the Z and this car doesn't appear to have had this done properly. Standard Z stopped shorter; this car feels like it has wooden pads. There's no fade, but also no effectiveness. Wildly inconsistent pedal feel, too.

Handling Comments:  (Slalom) Added stiffness makes Nismo harder to handle in our slalom which isn't very smooth. I'm confident this car is quicker on a racetrack, but the sharp bump at cone 3 makes it a challenge here. Same speed as the normal car, but a lot more work to get there. (Skid pad) Communication is good, but overall this doesn't seem like a great street setup, and grip is inexplicably less than the standard Z.

2009-370z-actf34-nissan-ot-555-1.jpg Vehicle: 2009 Nissan 370Z

Odometer: 1,971
Date: 03/03/09
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Price: $40,320

Specifications:
Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type:   6-speed manual
Engine Type: V6
Displacement (cc / cu-in):  3,969cc (226 cu-in)
Redline (rpm): 7,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):   332 @ 7,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm):   270 @ 5,200
Brake Type (front):   Ventilated disc
Brake Type (rear):   Ventilated disc
Steering System: Speed-proportional power steering
Suspension Type (front):   Double-wishbone
Suspension Type (rear): Multilink
Tire Size (front): 245/40R19
Tire Size (rear):  275/35R19
Tire Brand: Bridgestone
Tire Model: Potenza RE050A
Tire Type: Summer performance
Wheel Size: 19-by-9.0-inches front; 19-by-10-inches rear
Wheel Material (front/rear):   Alloy
As tested Curb Weight (lb):   3,374

Test Results:
0 - 30 (sec): 2.0
0 - 45 (sec): 3.5
0 - 60 (sec): 5.2
0 - 75 (sec): 7.6
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph):  13.5 @ 103.7
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.9
30 - 0 (ft): 26
60 - 0 (ft): 108
Braking Rating: Very Good
Slalom (mph): 72.0
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g):   0.94
Handling Rating: Very good
Db @ Idle: 49.2
Db @ Full Throttle: 82.7
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 70.3

Acceleration Comments: More revs are required here to get a sub 5.5-second 60-mph time, but I essentially use the same technique. The Z doesn't seem to like a lot of wheelspin -- it only gets slower. So getting the clutch out quickly and using WOT early is the key. This engine doesn't inspire at high rpm, but it does make power and lends itself to hard driving.

Braking Comments: Very good distance and pedal feel. We're not anywhere near approaching the thermal limits of these brakes in the succession of stops completed for this test.

Handling Comments: The more time I spend in the Z, the more comfortable I become. As of now, I've yet to drive it on the street -- only track testing. This is a communicative, direct-responding, focused sports car and it shows when it's asked to turn. Fun and fast. Around the skid pad there's immense grip, which seems to increase in direct proportion to how hard it's pushed. The rear doesn't want to step out and won't until something drastic (like instantly snapping off the throttle) is done. Even then, it's asking the driver if he really, really wants to do this. But it will play tail out it you want. And it's fun.

Leave a Comment
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT