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YES, YES, THEY’VE PROMISED you this before, more than a few times in the last two or three years, in fact. But this time they really mean it: NISMO, Nissan’s in-house performance parts supplier, has parts in U.S. Nissan dealerships.

Don’t believe them? Been led down this path before? A string of bad relationships has left you guarded and unwilling to commit? Well, we are looking right now at a list of S-tune (for the street) and R-tune (for the track) NISMO parts that will fit not only your new-generation 350Z and Sentra SE-R, but also “Legacy” parts for your 1989-98 240SX, 1991-99 Sentra and 1990-96 300ZX. There is even a wide variety of “Lifestyle” paraphernalia (shirts, hats and license-plate frames) to keep you looking fast even if you can’t afford part No. 12310-RSZ30US (350Z performance flywheel).

“So what,” you scoff, “I can buy those parts on the gray mar- ket, and in fact have been doing so for quite some time!”

But those gray-market parts don’t come with Nissan’s parts-and-accessories warranty, do they (12 months or 12,000 miles for S-tune)? No. And genuine NISMO parts are available right there in your friendly Nissan dealership, which can also install them professionally. Which is not to bag on the guys who have faithfully gotten you NISMO parts for the last two years while Nissan has only said it will get you NISMO parts.

To prove to us that this time there really are parts, Nissan hosted a track day at the Willow Springs raceway in Southern California. The company had 350Zs and Sentra SE-Rs in both S- and R-tune ready for flogging. Unfortunately, we were out of the country at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Several weeks later, however, at Nissan’s Tochigi proving grounds in Japan, we were able to drive three NISMO-equipped Nissans and get something of a feel for them. While the parts weren’t exactly the same, they were close enough that you could feel the improvement over stock.

We drove a NISMO Fairlady Z (350Z to you and me), Skyline (Infiniti G35 coupe) and a March (nothing to us) with lots of parts from the Japanese catalog. NISMO officials said 50 percent to 60 percent of the home-market catalog will make it to the States.

The Skyline was first, with a new chip in the engine management system for 15 more hp, as well as springs, shocks, antiroll bars, and wheels and tires. The car rode on 245/35ZR-19s in front and 275/35ZR-19s in back.

The advantage was this Skyline had been put together by engineers, not some guy on the other end of a phone selling pieces “willy-nilly,” as they say in Japan. So all the parts were balanced against each other.

As such, they made a world of difference, bringing out more of the performance than we could feel was already in the stock, U.S.-spec G35. Acceleration was quicker, maybe too much so right off the line—a little linear throttle tuning would be nice. And it whipped through corners with a quickness that bordered on the darty. With a little familiarity this could be one fun coupe to coddle. But since the G35 has an Infiniti badge rather than a Nissan, there is no word yet on whether NISMO parts will be available for it in the States.

There are Z parts, however, and our next drive was in the Fairlady Z. It, too, had springs, shocks, antiroll bars, Brembo brake pads, and wheels and tires for a sportier demeanor. The Z was lowered 20 millimeters and rode on Bridgestone Potenza S-03 245/40ZR-18s front and 275/40ZR-18s rear. Again, because of the nice balance between them, the components worked together more fluidly. Like the Skyline, the Z could benefit from a more linear throttle, but while you can gripe about the way it’s delivered, you can’t complain about the extra 5 percent of hp. It was a pleasure to pilot.

The March is Nissan’s B-class entry, one class smaller than the Sentra. It’s too bad March is not sold in the States, because it was even more fun, upholding the slogan that it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. Powered by a 1.2-liter four, the NISMO March scampered through corners on Tochigi’s “marketability evaluation” course with minimal lean, despite its high- topped proportions.

We would have liked to have driven more than the half-lap of the high-speed oval (coned off to make it a low-speed half-oval) and the wild, narrow corners of the marketability course, and we would have liked more than the couple of minutes we got in each of the cars before overzealous Nissan organizers whisked us back to our hotel. But that just made us want to drive some U.S.-spec NISMOs. Apart from wheel design, most of the U.S.-spec parts should match the Japanese NISMO parts we drove. And that ain’t a bad thing. This time, they really mean it.




autoweek
 

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Ya I heard about this from a friend a few days ago, and personally I think its awsome. Its also badass considering none of the parts will void warrenty on your car! :D
 

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culmination said:
finally something for my G!! thank goodness nismo.. tis about time
btw,... nice G yo
 
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