02/09/2012 // Raynham, MA, USA // CambridgePRGroup // Mastria Nissan
Nissan is looking to prove that its sports cars can deal not only with the rigors of the daily drive, but also the abuse that comes with life at the race track. The Japanese automaker has partnered with the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) to create a new Spec Z class built around the Nissan 350Z, a model that was sold new at Nissan dealerships from 2002 to 2008.
NASA Spec Z rules ensure that the focus remains on the driver and car setup rather than spending big bucks, which should keep running costs down and racing fields full. Nissan is producing suspension setups for the class to ensure an even playing field, and the automaker is even creating a contingency program that pays out cash prizes of up to $850 in regional competitions. Nissan Motorsports has also committed $6,500 toward top Spec Z finishers at the 2012 NASA Championships.
“A racecar has to be powerful, agile and most of all reliable, which are three core strengths of the Nissan Z-cars,” said Jason Ferreira, general sales manager of Raynham, Massachusetts Nissan dealership Mastria Nissan. “Creating the Spec Z class gives 350Z racers a place to match up against each other to see who the better driver is, rather than who spent the most money on their car.”
First released to the public in August 2002 for the 2003 model year, the 350Z with a manual transmission produced 287 horsepower with a V6 engine that displaced 3.5 liters, inspiring the car’s name. Nissan’s sports car received small updates throughout its production run, including boosts in power that peaked at 306 horsepower before the vehicle was replaced for the 2009 model year.
The 350Z was succeeded by the Nissan 370Z, which features an even more powerful drivetrain covered by a sleeker exterior. With a 3.7-liter V6 engine, the 2012 370Z produces 332 horsepower in the base model and rises to 350 horsepower in the range-topping NISMO 370Z. All models come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, while a seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is available for the base and Touring models.
Inside, the Nissan 370Z is tailored for performance, with thinner A-pillars to increase visibility and plenty of large gauges to keep track of the car’s vital signs. Though the interior is focused on optimizing drivability, it is not an unforgiving place to spend time, featuring optional leather upholstery and an available Bose sound system.
“With a number of different trims, the 370Z can go from race machine to leather-clad grand tourer,” Ferreira noted. “The great part is that no matter how long the option list is, every 370Z retains the agile handling and dynamic acceleration that the Z line has become famous for.”
A new revised version of the 370Z is debuting today at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, which began yesterday and runs through Feb. 19. Nissan has remained tight-lipped about what is in store for the latest-generation Z-car’s mid-cycle refresh.
About Mastria Nissan:
Mastria Nissan has been serving Massachusetts Nissan fans since 2004, focusing on exceptional customer service and a low-pressure sales environment. Their Nissan dealership offers the full line of Nissan sedans, crossovers and pickups, as well as a state-of-the-art Nissan service department staffed with skilled technicians. Plus, Mastria Nissan is the only authorized NV dealer in the area, making them the destination for business owners in Southern Massachusetts who need commercial vehicles. Located at 1305 New State Highway in Raynham, they can reached by phone at 888-820-9028 or found online at www.mastrianissan.com and www.facebook.com/MastriaNissan.
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