NISMO Builds a Turn-Key Race Car Out of the Nissan 370Z
Since almost Day 1, people have been racing Nissan’s Z Car. The driving careers of guys like John Morton, Steve Millen, Johnny O’Connell and that guy from the salad dressing bottles are intrinsically tied to track-going Zs. And it’s no secret why Z Cars are raced: Their tidy proportions, rear-wheel-drive, and potent six-cylinder engines (with a few V8-powered track only exceptions) are all great attributes to have when engaging in “spirited” driving.
Now NISMO, Nissan’s in-house motorsports and tuning arm, is building a track-only 370Z – dubbed the 370 RC – for use in lower level GT and production car racing. But that’s not the exciting part; the exciting part is you can buy one (if you have the dough, of course). So what’s included? Where can you race it? Make the jump for the answers to these and other burning questions.
The street legal 370Z’s 3.7L V6 features better breathing (since track cars have much more lenient noise and emissions restrictions) thanks to a NISMO racing exhaust system and a reprogrammed ECU, which translates to a claimed 350hp (up 18 over the road version) and 276 lb.-ft of torque (an increase of 6). That power interfaces with the heavy duty 6-speed manual transmission through a NISMO heavy duty clutch and a lightweight flywheel. The transmission and rear differential also have their own dedicated coolers, and many of the hose and line connectors throughout the car have been beefed up. You also get an air jack system.
Venturing inside, you park your posterior in a Recaro racing seat and grab onto a Sparco steering wheel. Switches for critical vehicle systems reside in a carbon fiber panel, and there’s a FIA-spec roll cage to keep you from getting smooshed in the event of a shunt. Hopefully, the NISMO aero parts (front bumper with splitter, side skirts, rear bumper and rear spoiler) and the upgraded suspension and brakes will provide enough agility to stay out of trouble.
The NISMO 370Z RC is certified to compete in the FIA International GT4 Championship and in the SCCA World Challenge GTS class right out of the proverbial box. If you want to race in the GS class in Grand-Am’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series, you’ll have to make a few modifications, however, there’s no word on what those changes are. There’s also no word on how much the 370Z RC will cost, but we’re betting there’s a significant premium over a run-of-the-mill 370Z Coupe. But you know the old saying: “Speed costs money; how fast do you want to go?”