Part 2 of 3
The 370Z NISMO (2) as part of the NISMO Trackdays ...
We went to Lusatia the day before to grab one of the hot gadgets and do a little bit of rough-talking work, before the hype starts the next day. For the reasons mentioned above, I also have a special relationship with Fairlady, and I wanted to get to know the hot affair a little better in advance and in silence, and only under the observation of my bald-headed creative companion, FotoRalph.
By the way: The fact that we now know the Z series as "Fairlady" goes back to the then president of Nissan Motors Japan (aka Mr. Katsuji Kawamata), who - rumor has it - during a stay in the United States after a visit to the Broadway musical "My Fair Lady "was so keen on the same, that the name for the forefather of today's 370Z, the Datsun Sports, it seemed appropriate. Ostensibly it was about appropriate associations of music and the beauty of the leading actress from the musical to the roadster transfer. Can you do that in the case. Fortunately "Sigfried and Roy" came later to the USA.
The Datsun 240Z (1969-1978) was then the official successor, with the "Z" for the sporty series had more pragmatic reasons: it was more or less the only character available for typing in the alphabet. In Japan, the successor was also sold with the initial name addition. The "Fairlady Z" was born, whose name is part of the current Z models (source: here).
We choose a black fair lady. Wow!
There is ER (the 370Z), SHE (the fair lady), IT (the car) ... In the background this imposing backdrop of the completely empty Lausitzring in fantastic weather, with the grandstands and these huge wind turbines. It couldn't be more appropriate. Looks like something out of a Japanese manga. Surreal, lively, colorful, but also pretty cool. The Z looks playful, stands broad, but also immediately reveals the samurai fighter in it.
One immediately notices the missing fries counter at the back, which was one of the most extroverted features of the NISMO before the facelift. It has given way to a more subtle variant, which frankly I like a little better, although the XXL spoiler was kind of cool. With further aerodynamic modifications to the front and rear apron, the new variant ensures more and more evenly distributed downforce, which the new, lighter 19 "wheels from Rays are allowed to bring to the road. We will see!
At the front, the Fairlady now winks at you with glowing LED daytime running lights, which have been fitted neatly over the side air intakes and fit seamlessly into the overall sporty image, but by no means look set on top. Sexy! Will be good in any case and serves in addition to the security of the overtaking prestige. Outside otherwise quite Z. You will find a driving report to the "old" NISMO here.
Under the tin dress has changed at least in terms of engine nothing great, the ingredients here were already quite fine and the heart big. 3,7 liters of displacement with 344 racy horsepower from the well-known V6 engine ensure that only 5,2 seconds pass until 100 km / h. In the normal Z (coupe) it is after all 331 PS (328 PS in the convertible). The gallop is stopped at 250 km / h. Otherwise you have hitched only something at the rear suspension tuning to optimize the ride comfort. By a new "Flokati" and something "silicone" has also minimized the background noise on the rear axle, which I can only judge conditionally, since I do not know the predecessor. But it will be like that. Rolling noise minimization through new carpets and wheel arch lining or not ... As long as the V6 sound through the arm-thick tailpipes is even better to hear, I am fine.
Inside, a new half-shell Recaro chairs invite you to linger, which offers even better lateral support compared to the predecessor and on top of that is a bit lighter. I found myself right in this with 1,92 m height. So much for the facelift and now enough of the banter! Tomorrow is the morning ...
The NISMO Trackday
The day breaks and how could it be more beautiful, the weather is also very fine. * Poetry out. *
So after a restless sleep and the most anticipatory dreams, we make our way to the track. The weather was a bit stormy at night, but has caught up again. Above all, the sun has shown the evil rain clouds who is in charge. Running!
When they arrive at the Lausitzring, the protagonists are already lined up in rows in the paddock. Freshly washed, just like us. Mind you, Nissan has rented the entire Lausitzring through Drive & Fun! Free travel for free petrolheads on Sunday that is not completely car free.
One of the lounges just above the pit lane serves as a "lounge" for participants and their companions. Here after accreditation / registration also the driver briefing takes place. Short instruction paired with a basic course in Flagkunde and general procedure as well as behavioral rules on the track are indispensable, but are brought by chief instructor and KTM front wheel saver Armin Eckl with stoic composure, supplemented by the one or the other Zote, the curious-looking audience.
The daily routine per se is actually explained quickly: Dangers always come in two groups, each with two drivers, who in turn exchange the driver's seat with the passenger at regular intervals. In between are short pee and / or Schnittchenpausen and group change. That means you switch from, for example, group A in the Juke NISMO RS in group B and clamp the 370Z NISMO under slender behind and vice versa.
In front of each group there is always an experienced instructor who explains the ideal line and gives tips over the radio. The vehicles always change so that exactly every car drives behind the instructor and is “examined”. This fact alone promises that it will not be a pure “chasing after” in single file. The whole thing goes from 9 a.m. to 17 p.m. with a lunch break during which really delicious catering is served. A FULL working day on the racetrack so dear friends! I only emphasize this because there are often disguised alibi driving events with infinitely long gossip and nonsense breaks to stretch the time.
Since we were traveling as a heterosexual couple in the constellation MotorOli and FotoRalph, we were fortunate to have a car for ourselves. We did not want to stop the operation with our would-be film-like too much, because the petrolheads legitimately wanted only one thing.
We start in the manually switched Juke NISMO RS. A brief explanation of the vehicle's seating position and technology by the instructor and then we turn through Box 7 from the paddock into the pit lane onto the track. I am lucky enough to be on the racetrack, but the scenery is always impressive and my stomach area tingles anew every time. You can't describe it, you have to experience it. Petrolheads know immediately. Everyone should have driven a racetrack at least once in their life and immerse themselves in this atmosphere. The huge grandstands, behind them, especially at the Lausitzring, the wind turbines and this vastness - sensational. But enough of the daydream.
Today we are driving the GP circuit, just one of the many possible variants offered by the Lausitzring. Is called approx. 4,5 KM, 14 curve, on a maximum line width of 24 m. The longest line measures 800m.
The first laps are marked by the "Get to know each other", but already here it quickly becomes clear that we are not on a coffee trip for retirees. It means: DRANBLEIBEN! The Juke NISMO RS feels very crisp at first glance and the powerful 1,6 liter turbo engine with 218 PS has an easy game. The data and how the little one drives in everyday life you will find here btw.
After a short driver change, so that everyone can get to know the track, the pace is already noticeably tightened. The indications of braking points, ideal line and where the head should ideally look in the curve, are clearly and for any layman understandable in real time by the placed in each vehicle radios from the front driving instructor passed. The participants are extremely disciplined and the groups harmonize very well together. I notice that the car brings its power in tight corners, despite heavy gas foot, very neat on the tarmac, indicating the presence of a limited slip differential. On the Navidisplay even the Lausitzring is faded in and you can almost see yourself leaving the track. A naughty little fruit of the little one. I already have to confess my mood. I mean, we drive a lowered higher-altitude car in a terrain, which was almost never intended for him. I would say that I fulfilled this advertising message. A "crossover sport" that works really well. Would be exciting to mill with the car along an autocross route and let it really crack.
After a few changes, we are really warm and downright hot on the 370Z NISMO. Once again for protocol: 344 rear-drive horses from a sonorous V6 wait to be allowed to gallop galore - with us in the Recaro saddle. The procedure is analogous to the introduction in the Juke NISMO RS, except that this time Frank Eickholt will set the tone in the original GT-R Ringtaxi. It should be noted that Frank is not only "just a symphytic buddy type", but as the CEO and chief test driver of tuner Digi-Tec and long-time driver for the 24h race team of Volvo tuner HEICO SPORTIV, trumps with a very wide knowledge and down to the last detail Tips, information and his expertise. Very cool!
Now the time has come: The reunion on the racetrack with the new old love.
It continues in part 3 ... Be curious how the reunion goes! Part 3 will follow next week!