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2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO sees major updates; for better or worse?

Nissan has made big changes to the 2015 370Z NISMO, but are they actually improving the car or just slapping on a lot of gimmicks?

The new 2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO has undergone a hoard of changes, not the least of which are the controversial bodywork alterations. Many have said that the new 370Z NISMO looks too much like its bigger brother, the GT-R NISMO. Those who've driven the new NISMO'd Z, however, remark that these improvements mean better performance on the track.

For those looking from the current-model 370Z NISMO, though, the changes that stand out the most for the new 2015 Z NISMO are the smaller rear spoiler and hot new 19-inch forged aluminum-alloy wheels from RAYS with their charcoal gray machine finish rather than the former silver look. Those wheels, in particular, add a lot of aggressiveness to the 370Z NISMO that it lacked before.

Getting into the new 2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO, enthusiasts will immediately note the beautifully crafted Recaro leather-appointed seats with their improved all-direction holding and uniform body pressure.

The engine is largely the same, though, and most would agree, didn't require much updating anyway. The 350-horsepower, 3.7-liter dual overhead cam (DOHC) V6 still has Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL) and a tuned H-configured exhaust system. Muffler tuning and calibration boost its higher horsepower over the standard 370Z Coupe while torque twists up to 276 lb-ft.

New for this 2015 model is the added automatic transmission choice. The 7-speed automatic has Downshift Rev Matching, Adaptive Shift Control and manual shift mode with paddle shifters. It will likely be a hit among those who primarily drive their 370Z NISMO on the street. The standard trans, of course, is still the base option and, in addition, the close-ratio, six-speed manual now has SynchroRev Match for downshift rev matching without heel-toe maneuvers from the driver.

So the question is: how are these upgrades improving the car, or are they just gimmicks to give the look of an update without actually updating much?

It's a question circulating in the 370Z forums online and one that's not easily answered with a simple "Yes" or "No." If you ask those who've been in the 2015 370Z NISMO, the answer is usually "For the most part, yes." That's fair enough.

The body improvements do bring better aerodynamics and downforce at speed. That's an improvement. Most drivers who aren't hardcore race track goers love the new SynchroRev Match as well. The automatic is, let's face it, a bow to the needs of the market which demands sports cars with automatic transmissions for those who only occasionally go to "show off day" at the track and aren't serious track goers.

Overall, most of the improvements, aside from some interior embellishments and that automatic transmission, are aimed at the 370Z's core NISMO-buying crowd. This may be the most track-ready Z car yet.