When former F1 driver Ukyo Katayama talks about cars you need to listen. Watch the video below and see what he thinks of the NISMO 370Z compared to the original 240Z. He drives the “Japanese legend” and it’s easy to see why the coupe has thousands of fans around the globe. The NISMO 370Z in its sixth-generation, gets its name (NISsan MOtorsports) from Nissan’s involvement in motorsports. It also gets its DNA from the original 240Z with race car tuning featuring engine, aerodynamic and suspension upgrades over the standard Z.
It’s powered by a 3.7-liter V6 naturally aspirated power plant developing 350hp. The 1969 Datsun 240Z was powered by a 2.4-liter single-overhead-cam straight six and developed 151 horsepower. Quite a difference from the original Z car, but they share the same family traits that made this car a huge favorite of driving enthusiasts around the world.
While the future of the 370Z is uncertain, it still has an appeal like few other sports cars. A big reason is because the 370Z has such a storied history to draw from. The 240Z has been ranked one of the top-ten most important cars in US automotive history. So it’s no surprise the car still has a huge following.
NISMO chief tells the story
Ukyo Katayama gets a unique opportunity to talk with Hiroshi Tamura, Chief Product Specialist at NISMO at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama. He finds out why they needed to build a NISMO version of the sports car and how it compares identically to the original 240Z.
Tamura says there are three basic requirements for a superior sports car to have. He also believes, the new 2018 Nissan NISMO 370Z came from the same DNA as the 240Z car that launched the brand’s sports car division in 1969. It’s called the Fairlady in Japan and Tamura says they were successful in creating “a car so responsive to the driver, it’s like a dance partner. You can almost feel it breathe.”
What does the 2017 NISMO 370Z share with the 240Z? It’s sounds simple, but not so easy to pull off. They both share the same sporty exterior styling, they are fast, and they both produce a throaty engine sound and exhaust note. Tamura says “I think those are the three basic requirements.”
The NISMO chief also says they used the 240Z as a “touchstone” when they developed the higher-performance Nissan 370Z NISMO model. It comes with three other critical and dominant family traits. They both have the same throttle response, the best sound from a naturally aspirated engine, and the right amount of suspension stiffness.
Watch Nissan Fairlady Z NISMO-50 Years of a Quintessential Japanese Sports Car video
Photo and video credit: Japan 2020