With specs and a price similar to yesterday’s Bimmer, you might think today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 370Z is déjà vu all over again. We’ll just have to see if this supercharged sports car’s price has you doubled over with laughter.
There was a lot of chatter regarding the subwoofer taking up space under the hatch in yesterday’s custom 2006 BMW Z4 M Coupé. Most of that revolved around it being an indicator of other less desirable decisions that may have been made in the car’s upbringing.
If you’ve seen practically ANY horror movie you’ll know that people are generally heedless of such obvious warning signs. However, the car’s $27,999 price proved as foreboding as any clown in the basement and the Bimmer went down in a 84-percent Crack Pipe loss.
Since a supercharged BMW coupé proved so unpalatable at near thirty grand, why don’t we just see how a similarly spec’d Nissan does at nearly the same price.
This 2013 Nissan 370Z carries the Nismo name. That denotes a package of performance upgrade not dissimilar in ambition to the M parts bolted onto yesterday’s Z4. Also, like that E86, this 370Z’s six cylinder engine is imbued with an aftermarket supercharger. Both cars rock six-speed manual gearboxes, and, to top it off, both carry big wings and are painted white with black and red trimmed interiors.
That’s where the similarities end however. At just over 56K on the clock, the much newer Nissan exhibits far fewer miles. It also has has more polarizing styling, perhaps not helped by the Nismo body kit.
Better to focus on what’s under the hood then. There you’ll find a 3.7-litre VQ37VHR V6. That engine has been around for the better part of a decade and in mature and massaged Nismo form it makes 350 horsepower at 7,400 rpm and 276 lb-ft of torque that comes in at 5,200 rpm.
Notice something about those rev numbers? Yeah, they’re higher than Snoop Dogg on Saturday night. The VQ doesn’t really get the party started until you put your loafer into it, and that’s the likely reason that some previous owner of the car added a Stillen supercharger to get some of that sweet low-end grunt that we all crave like a fat boy wants pie.
The Stillen kit includes a new intake, Vortec V3 turbine style blower, air to water intercooler, and some computer code to make it all work in harmony with the rest of the car. Stillen claims the kit can raise the available ponies to around 500 at the crank. That’s pretty cranky if you ask me. The parts alone for this addition will run you over seven grand. On sale!
Here that’s backed up by a six-speed stick with Nissan’s weird rev-matching feature. I’ve never liked that, but as always, your mileage may vary. Nismo big brakes do stopping duty, and there’s a custom cat-back exhaust which probably sounds sexy as heck. The whole thing is wrapped in Pearl White, and there’s nothing amiss with the bodywork under that aside from the general shape which wasn’t all that great to begin with and hasn’t aged very well since.
In fact, that’s one of the 370Z’s biggest problems. Well, that and a decided lack of rearward visibility. These cars seem to have developed a small cadre of devotees, but have otherwise been ignored by the vast majority of auto buyers who, when you say ‘sport’ immediately blurt out ‘utility’ in Pavlovian antiphon.
This is a real deal sports car, and one that it looks like might be a barrel of just got paid and are looking for a good time monkeys to put through its paces. The interior is all kinds of plasticky, but the styling does recall its S30 ancestors with a driver-centered instrument binnacle and three eye-lidded gauges canted in the middle. A boost gauge has been awkwardly added to the dash cap here, but otherwise the interior seems stock and appreciably tidy. The bolstered Nismo seats will hold you in place while you test the limits of your talent too.
Okay, we started out by noting how similar in spec and function this Nissan seems in comparison to yesterday’s BMW coupe. I also alluded to their prices being in the same range. In fact, at $27,995, this 370Z is five bucks cheaper than the Bimmer. It’s now time for you to decide how it fares at that price. Do you think this supercharged 370Z is worth blowing through that much to own? Or, do you see the vote being another thing this Nissan shares with the Bimmer?
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