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2009 Nissan 370Z - We Say Zele

Japan's Hottest New Tuner Has A Thing For Fast Nissans. First The GT-R, Now This 370Z. Hot? Oh Yes.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
May 1, 2009
Photographer: Sean Klingelhoefer

Kamata-san of Zele in just over a year has managed to establish a tuning brand out of thin air. Having made a name for himself with Zele International, a business specializing in sourcing and reselling top quality used Skyline GT-Rs and 350Zs, it was a natural progression to branch out and create his own tuning business. He was the first to have a full body kit available for the R35 GT-R, which included a complete replacement for the front bumper. He then went on to create the complete edition Zele GT-R, which in a rather controversial issue of the Hot Version DVD magazine series, lapped Ebisu circuit quicker than any tuner GT-R present, including the Mine's demo car! Following on from the GT-R he has gone on to apply his tuning philosophy to the new Z, creating the pearl orange Zele 370Z Complete Edition.

The Zele 370Z's story began on December 1st, the day the Z34 hit Nissan dealers across Japan. Kamata-san picked his car up and headed south to the renowned mountain roads in Hakone, across from Mt. Fuji. He spent the day driving the Z and focusing on aspects that could be perfected to extract higher levels of performance. With the Tokyo Auto Salon (TAS) less than a month away the clock was ticking and, like every other tuning shop in Japan, Zele got to working on creating the first batch of parts. The body was the first to be addressed and with Kamata-san's drawings finalized it was on to sculpting the individual parts of the Zele kit. Up front, the bumper does away with the "fangs" found on the Nissan item, for a cleaner yet more aggressive look. Side intakes are sculpted into its extremities providing cooling air to the brakes while the center air dam keeps the radiator happy. The carbon-fiber lip spoiler has been designed to aid in front end downforce protruding quite noticeably from the bumper. Special attention has obviously been given to the design, which seems to blend in seamlessly with the Z34's aggressive stance. The side skirts have been extended downward helping bring the profile of the car closer to the ground. Out back, the rear bumper sports some side air outlets that mimic those found at the front, but it's the diffuser-like center section which impresses the most. From here the quad-titanium exhaust system peaks through with its blue tips making sure people know this is no factory Z. The subtle lip spoiler helps in the aerodynamics department by eliminating rear lift and creating a tiny bit of positive downforce. This part is currently made of FRP but will be also available in carbon-fiber to match the side mirror covers and B-pillar covers. The whole car was repainted in Zele's signature pearl-metallic orange, borrowed from the Lamborghini color palette! The roof however has been painted black as an addition to the rest of the contrasting parts, which perfectly match the matte-black Volk Racing wheels. These, on sale soon, are the second generation of the TE37 six-spoke design, probably the single most popular Japanese aftermarket wheel. The six-spoke design remains but has been modernized with a more angular feel, a perfect match for the Z34's lines. The wheels are 20x9.5" in the front, while the rear runs 20x10" to really fill the massive fenders. Street-going Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires are used 275/30/20 up front and slightly bigger 285/30/20 at the rear.

2018 Nissan 370Z
$33,570 Base Model (MSRP) 18/26 MPG Fuel Economy

With the body conversion done, it was on to the handling, which was a pressing matter as the car desperately needed to be lowered for TAS. Kamata-san called in Aragosta, which prepared a brand new set of adjustable dampers ready to befitted to the Z. Tarzan Yamada will be called in to set-up the suspension, something that will be done on a number of circuits as well as roads. He did a great job with the Zele GT-R, so there is really no one better for the job. Moments before we positioned the car for the camera the brand new $2,150 titanium front strut tower bar was fitted, a work of art in its own right, taking full advantage of the three factory mounting points. The stock Brembo brakes on the Z are not bad, but it was just not going to cut it for Zele, so on went their full Performance Racing Brembo brake kit. Retailing at a cool $21,650 you won't be surprised to hear that no corners were cut here. Up front 6-pot forged calipers are used, the same items you would find on a modern mid-sized race car. These employ the latest technology from the Brembo GTR caliper series, which on top of the lightweight design employs titanium pistons inserts for additional cooling. These are mated to 380 mm two-piece floating rotors, while the four-pot Brembo GTR calipers bite down on 345 mm rotors at the rear. The result is an impressively powerful and progressive setup, totally immune to brake fade, thanks also to the Brembo hi-friction brake pads.

Performance-wise the Zele 370Z runs a specially-tuned FZ Rom, which is currently under final development. This will offer a more responsive feel from the engine as well as marginal power and torque gains when mated to the Zele titanium exhaust system. Zele has also teamed up with engine specialists Tomei, who are currently developing high-performance headers to not only boost power but also sound. These join a long list of additional tuning parts coming in 2009.

The 370Z's modern interior has been joined by a pair of Recaro TS-G bucket seats, upholstered in Alcantara, giving a supreme tactile delight for those lucky enough to squeeze into them! A Zele titanium shift knob completes the interior modifications, a piece created from a billet chunk of titanium, which explains the $355 price tag.

For those looking for the ultimate complete performance package, Zele will be offering this 370Z as you see it here. Prices will be announced later in the year once the final spec is determined. Like with the Complete Edition GT-R, if you ship your 370Z to Yokohama Japan, Zele will take care of the conversion. Parts will also be sold separately.

Fast Facts
2009 Nissan 370Z Complete Edition (Z34)
Owner Zele Performance
Hometown Yokohama, Japan
Daily Grind Tuning Shop

Under The Hood 3.7L VQ37DE; Zele Type2 titanium muffler, dry carbon-fiber radiator shroudBrains Zele FZ-ROM Type1

Stiff Stuff Zele Aragosta suspension kit, titanium strut tower brace

Rollers RAYS Engineering/Volk Racing TE37 G2 9.5Jx20" (front), 10Jx20" (rear); Bridgestone Potenza RE050A 275/30/20 (front), 285/30/20 (rear)

Stoppers Zele/Brembo Racing 6-pot front calipers with 380mm 2-piece rotors/4-pot rear calipers with 345mm 2-piece rotors

Outside Zele front aero bumper, carbon-fiber front lip spoiler, side skirt set, rear bumper, carbon-fiber rear spoiler, carbon-fiber pillar cover set, carbon-fiber side mirror covers, Zele signature orange paint

Inside Recaro bucket seats TS-G with Alcantara fabric; Zele titanium shift knob

WWW bridgestone.com; mackinindustries.com (Volk Racing); recaro.com; zeleperformance.com

By Dino Dalle Carbonare
4 Articles

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