22 September 2010|
|Changing the Guard|
Defending a title or your reputation is never easy. Enthusiasts wondered what Nissan could possibly do to with the 370Z in the shadow of the now-legendary 350Z. Not to mention, the struggle to get any press coverage for the car following the media onslaught of the GT-R. While both of these factors made it hard for the new car to get noticed when it was merely gossip and spy photos, now that the 370Z has arrived (on the Z34 chassis), everyone knows that the new car will easily defend its honor.
As predicted, Mine’s was at the forefront of bringing cutting-edge technology to the Z.
The redesigned chassis offers a welcome change. It is light, wider, shorter and features new technology the automotive world has never seen before. Innovations like the cast one-piece rear sub-frame and the highly-touted Synchro Rev-Match for the 6-speed box. The driving experience out of the box was one of the highlights for our reviews in 2009 and we were eager to see what the Japanese would do with the car.
The Japanese has a huge jump on the rest of the world considering we saw modified versions of it months before it was even in North America. As predicted, Mine’s was at the forefront of bringing cutting-edge technology to the Z. Mine’s has a long-standing relationship with Nissan and they have access to pre-production cars and are rumored to work with Nissan engineers to share data. With this type of foothold with the Z34, it was a sure bet that Mine’s would release a highly tuned, yet refined automobile.
We caught up with Jason Kusagaya from Mine’s USA and his US-Spec 370Z. The car was delivered with the Touring Package and the highly recommended Sport Package, which includes bigger brakes, Rev-Match and forged 19-inch RAYS Wheels. With all of the development already done, Mine’s installed parts to crank more from the 332hp V6. They started with a set of Mine’s VX air filters and Mine’s high flow throttle bodies to open up the air passageways. To dump the fumes, they installed a set of Mine’s down pipes, high-flow cats and a Mine’s Silence VX-Pro Titanium Titan II exhaust system. Quiet at idle and low revs, the Mine’s exhaust belts out its musical battle cry when provoked. Finally a Mine’s VX-ROM ECU was added to make all of the new parts play nice and to tweak the maps for maximum power. Despite the new found power, the new Z oil temps are through the roof, so Kusagaya installed a GReddy oil cooler kit to counteract the problem.
The attention was then focused on the suspension where the 370Z already excels. A set of Mine’s - Öhlins Esta CoilOvers with Hyperco high rate springs were installed. The upgraded ride is taut yet balanced for both street and track. The braking also got a shot in the arm with the addition of Mine’s own Winmax Performance Brake Pads and SS lines. The rolling gear, of course, needed some help because a Mine’s car can’t be seen rolling on teenage rims! They decided on a set of Work Gnosis GS-3 wheels 20x9.5-inch and 20x10.5-inch with the tire pressure monitoring system intact. The tires selected were the capable Bridgestone Potenza RE050A, running a 255/30R30 in the front with a 305/25R20 rear.
Read on for Full Specs
Mine’s cars are well known for their exploits in Time Attack and pushing the envelope on tracks like Tsukuba and Buttonwillow. With those goals in mind, the factory aero will not create enough downforce in the rear or reduce lift in the front, so Kusagaya got to work. He added some Seibon gear for its high functionality and low cost. A Seibon carbon fiber hatch and rear spoiler now adorn the fiery 2-seater. Up front is a Seibon Z34-style carbon fiber hood to reduce weight. The front bumper is a carefully sculpted Mine’s unit rocking twin carbon fiber front scoops to draw air towards the intakes. Lurking below is the carbon fiber Mine’s front splitter to reduce front-end lift at high speeds. The look of the car was capped off with a Mine’s carbon fiber antenna, a JDM Z34 rear foglight and vinyl posting up some sponsor love.
With minimal upgrades, the Mine’s 370Z looks as good as it performs. While forced induction kits continue to be developed for the Z34, we look forward to seeing what kind of creations come to life this year and beyond. But for now, we’ll just drool over this build.
Owner: Jason Kusagaya of Mine’s USA
Location: Long Beach, CA
Vehicle: 2009 Nissan 370Z Sport
Nissan 3.7L VQ37DE V6
Mine’s VX Air Filters
Mine’s Super Catalytic Converters
Mine’s SS Front Pipes
Mine’s Silence VX-Pro Titan II Titanium exhaust system
Mine’s High-Flow Throttle Bodies
Greddy Oil Cooler System
Mine’s VX-ROM Tuned ECU
WHEELS, TIRES & BRAKES
Work Gnosis GS-3 Wheels
Bridgestone Potenza RE050A Tires
Mine’s Performance Pads
Mine’s SS lines
Mine’s / Öhlins Esta Coilovers
Mine’s Front Carbon Fiber Chin Spoiler
Mine’s Carbon Fiber Antenna Cap
Mine’s Z34 Front Bumper (functional) Carbon Fiber Air Scoops
Seibon Z34 Carbon Fiber Hood
Seibon Carbon Fiber Trunk
Seibon Carbon Fiber Rear Spoiler