The extrovert trapped in an introvert's body. What it’s really like to own a Nissan 370Z

Just before I bought my 370z, I owned a BMW Z4M.  If you've read any of my previous blogs, you'll know that I had a love hate relationship with that car. On the one hand, it was a track day beast and super unique on the road. With about 3,500 made, I can count on one, maybe two hands the number of times I saw another one In the wild. That rarity, however, was both a source of pride and pain. Pride in the fact that nobody had the car. People gave me tons of fan fair (or hate) when I pulled up. The pain was the fact that there was virtually no aftermarket. It was even difficult to find OEM replacement parts. Eventually the cons outweighed the pros and I did my research to find a replacement. Luckily, I didn't have to look too far.  You see way back in 2001 I was debating between buying a Mustang GT and a 350z. I ended up with the Mustang, loved it, but never stopped eyeballing Nissan's Z cars.  I'd loved them since I was a kid and that Passion doesn't go away.  Statistically, the 370z was exactly what I needed.

Here are the 370Z's stats

  • 332 horsepower
  • Naturally aspirated 3.7 liter 6 cylinder (V6 if we're being picky)
  • Front engine, rear drive 2 seater
  • 6 speed manual transmission
  • 3245 lbs
  • 0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds

Here are the stats for the BMW Z4M (pardon me while I copy and paste... literally)

  • 333 horsepower
  • Naturally aspirated 3.2 liter 6 cylinder (I6 if we're being picky)
  • Front engine, rear drive 2 seater
  • 6 speed manual transmission
  • 3245 lbs
  • 0 to 60 in 4.6 seconds

Before even test driving one, my mid was made up that I was bringing home a Z car.  I'll make this quick.  I test drove 2 cars.  I bought the second one.  The second was the premium model with every feature Nissan through at these cars and the pearl white exterior and parsimon interior is honestly the best color combination any manufacturer has ever given a sports coupe.

A day or so passed and the adrenaline of the new purchase had almost completely faded away. It was time to open the car up and really see what it was made of.  I got the car to a nice warm running temperature found an open length of road and prepared myself to be amazed.  I mean, I had just bought a car identical to the BMW Z4M right? The only difference was it’s Japanese made and with an aftermarket so rich that you can buy a performance CAT back exhaust for $12 dollars. Needless to say, I was smiling ear to ear as I mashed the gas pedal in anger for the first time.  And it took off like a rocket ship.

  Actually, it didn’t. No sooner did I floor it, did my smile fade to a "meh" face.  I got, what felt like turbo lag from this naturally aspirated car down low and a resistance to rev up high. That's not to say the car wasn't quick.  It just wasn't eager.  It was like a labradoor that was a bit beyond its prime. It would still get up and run... when it felt like it. My old Z4M on the other hand was like a poorly trained attack dog.  It wanted to chase everything. It was eager to bite you, your grandma and the mailman just out of boredom.

 And the sound of the 370z.  It was muffled and meak.  Buyer's remorse set in and I honestly thought about seeing if I could get the Z4m back if only for a second.  I made my mod list within 2 pulls.  This stock 370z was extremely introverted and I was looking for the life of the party.

To open it up in the high revs, I needed it to breathe a little easier.  Let's do intake. AEM CIA with heat shields. The sluggish start also had to be eliminated.  I thought about an ECU tune, but it was far too early in the mod list for that.  So I  ended up with a Sprint Boost gas pedal bypass instead.  For the sound and a bit more power, I picked up a Rev-9 true dual cat back for dirt cheap.   As these parts came in and as I installed them, I really started to realize what the 370Z scene was all about.  Nissan presented a platform, for an awesome sports car... and they made about a billion of them... and they let it sit on the market for a good 50 years. That means plenty of time for aftermarket parts and forums to flourish and its up to you, the owner to make the car have the personality you want it to have.
 And I did.  My 370z is now the fire belching extrovert I'd wanted it to be.  A few more mods later like wider wheels, tires, spacers and a front lip add on and its looks matched its bite. I'm on the fence regarding how much further I'm going to go with the mods.  The suspension is firm enough for the track and autocross, but supple enough to eat up a bunch of miles on the highway. That and I've got so much more motorsports tourism to experience that I need to send my cash in many directions besides just parts. What I can say is that after about a year of ownership, I don't miss my BMW. I've made the 370Z into a proper replacement and then some.  And now, it's a bit more rude and deeper voiced than the BMW could have ever become.  I haven't begone to tap into the 370Z's potential ... and that's kind of a cool feeling. Some cars were born great. Some cars were born to be built.

 


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