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Nissan sent the 370z for a test drive just when Metro Manila was downgraded to the General Community Quarantine that prompted my husband JP to ask me for a quick trip to Nasugbu, Batangas.  He said he wants to check out this Nismo-decked pocket rocket and also for some sight-seeing in Punta Fuego.

I have heard a lot of excitement regarding this car and only recently realized how extensive its 50-year history was.  It started in October 1969 with the Nissan Fairlady Z. I wouldn’t have guessed that this speedster was named after a Broadway musical My Fairlady, which was seen by then Nissan president Yutaka Katayama or Mr. K in 1959. In my reading, another famous name was attached to the history of this car, the Datsun.

There were several dramas connected to the birth of this car.  Nissan initially tapped Yamaha, the motorcycle manufacturer, to help them create a prototype engine.  But they were not on the same page in terms of engine power. This resulted to the scrapping of the Z prototype.  Following the disagreement, Yamaha decided to approach another car manufacturer, Toyota, and the result was the limited-production Toyota 2000GT.

Nissan 370Z  Nismo

Driving to Nasugbu is a great way to test drive a vehicle.  It has the stretch of SLEX, CALAX, Silang’s winding road, and the hilly terrain of Nasugbu.  Our drive started with bright skies only to end up with some heavy rains near Punta Fuego.

The car’s interior was spacious for a two-seater and was not constricting in terms of height.  I had the impression that the ceiling would be low looking from the outside and was pleasantly surprised it was comfortable after a total of four hours drive back and forth. The 370Z Nismo is equipped with Recaro-branded sports seats, leather interior, and red accents to flaunt its Nismo badge. The well-padded driver and front passenger seats complement various body types.

The Nismo upgrades focus on the performance and car aesthetics – full racing body kit, lightweight alloy wheels, chunky spoiler, and red detailing.  The 2020 Nissan 370Z Nismo has new headlights, a lower rear fascia and new taillights, and new wheels. Nissan also retained its handsome, chunky teardrop shape that became famous from its early 70s debut.

It also had adequate trunk space big enough to fit two weekender bags on top of the Bose speakers. The white pearl color with a red accent combined with its large wheel gives it an aggressive stance.

It is powered by an upgraded version of the standard car’s 3.7-liter V6 engine in terms of performance. It is uprated from 324 hp to 342 hp, and sports suspension helps keep the car rigid and level through the corners.

The Nissan 370Z Nismo has a good drive feel, it was fast, and has a good grip on the road. Steering is heavier since this uses a different system from your normal power steering, so ladies might need additional repetitions on your arm workout. But it is good enough for the other road conditions we faced that day. Since it took 12 years for this model to be available in the Nissan dealership, it does not have the bells and whistles of the latest cars launched, so it’s a bit old school. 

When we got to Punta Fuego, my husband’s ulterior motive has revealed itself.  He took me for a 2-hour drive to the Marina to check out some boats. When we parked, the 370Z still grabs attention beside the other massive yachts and catamaran. I like its silhouette; it gives the vibes of a tiger’s paws clawing you. 

On the way home after JP’s window shopping, I was thankful for the trunk space that allowed me to buy goodies and the generous seat recline, which allowed me to sleep. With that said, it was a good day on the road.

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