Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 6 December 2020

Nissan 370z Nismo: small, fast and a whole lot of fun

This two-seater sports coupe is small but packs plenty of power and playfulness

Anyone who says they’re looking for cheap thrills might generally get a few odd looks. That is, unless they’re talking about cars, of course. Then it’s something a lot of us might admit to.

The demand for inexpensive, fun runabouts is something manufacturers seized on some time ago, but they’ve had limited success producing vehicles that fit this mould. Some models were popular, some weren’t and, as is often the case in the car world, mostly for good reasons.

Things have evolved, though, and now we have models such as the 2020 Nissan 370z. This, like its ancestors, is a low-down, two-door, two-seater lightweight sports coupe and a new one commands a price tag of less than Dh150,000 for the base model. The Nismo, being the top-end version, is a little pricier, but it’s still a vehicle likely to appeal to those motorists who are after some speed and grip in a car they won’t have to sell their organs to pay for.

The earliest 370z dates back to the early to mid-noughties, when it did the rounds at motor shows before its official release, and there have been six generations since. The upgraded Nismo version came along in 2009 and there were many nods of approval.

The speed and performance you can extract from this latest 370z is terrific, but it’s evidently made more exciting by the fact you’re so close to the ground. You’ll get 250 kilometres per hour out of the Nismo at the upper end and the car will go from 0-100kph in 5.5 seconds. The engine sounds properly throaty and you definitely feel like this is something you might fancy taking out on a track to really let it fly.

One of the reasons you get such good performance from this car, though, is because it’s small. While it was possible for the 1.9-metre-tall person writing this article to get into the 370z cabin and be comfortable inside it, actually entering and vacating said inner sanctum could be compared to pushing and pulling corks in and out of bottles. The seats will only go so far back and thereafter you simply have to bend your knees. Dwayne Johnson may well want to stick to a Humvee.

The actual driving experience is never anything less than invigorating, though. And if you’re not the kind of person who is constantly knocking their skull on signs saying “mind your head”, it’s comfortable enough in comparison with your average two-seater. Any driver looking for budget laughs could do plenty worse.

The specs

Engine: 3.7-litre V6

Transmission: seven-speed automatic

Power: 363hp

Torque: 560Nm

Price: Dh184,500

Updated: January 18, 2020 09:58 AM

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