For European petrolheads, the reveal of the new Nissan Z is bittersweet. It’s awesome to see a brand new rear-wheel drive coupe with a manual gearbox, but we won’t be able to buy one. Up against the continent’s floundering sports car market and tough emissions regulations, Nissan has decided against bringing the Z to our continent.
The solution, as it often does, lies in the classifieds. Under the skin, the Z carries a lot over from the 370Z, and since that car was on sale for more than 10 years, there are loads of used examples around. It is possible to snag an early, basic one for under £10,000, but since we’ve featured one of those before, we’ve upped the theoretical budget to get something more special.
On Autotrader, we found this 2016 370Z Nismo, for £25,975 - not much more than the starting price for a Ford Fiesta ST-3. These Nismos were a hard sell at the original price of nearly £40k, but for small hot hatch money, they’re a whole lot more palatable.
It’s a facelift model, meaning you get a refreshed front bumper with new daytime running lights and bigger intakes, rejigged aero (which sadly means no big rear wing) and a redesigned rear bumper. Completing the look is a set of 19-inch Rays wheels and Solid Red paintwork. Well, white is just a little too obvious, isn’t it?
As part of the update, Nissan rejigged the suspension of all 370Zs in the name of improving comfort, although the Nismo remained noticeably stiffer than other cars in the range. The Nismo was also clearly positioned at the top of the bunch in terms of performance, producing 339bhp and 267lb ft of torque.
A naturally-aspirated V6 hooked up to a manual gearbox sounds great on paper, but the reality is that the 3.7-litre unit is one of the weaker parts of the package. It’s quite a lethargic-feeling engine, and it doesn’t offer up the most inspiring soundtrack with the stock pipework. Thankfully the chassis and looks make up for this.
Another bugbear is the cabin, which was dated five years ago, let alone when the 370Z went off sale very recently. At the very least, this Nismo does come with some neat red seat inserts and a nicer steering wheel with a 12 o’clock marker and some Alcantara-clad portions.
The somewhat vague advert notes that there is service history “present,” which we’d expect to be complete for a car of this age. It’s been used fairly sparingly in its five years on Planet Earth, with a mere 27,503 miles on the clock.