In the Sept. '09 issue of Modified, we took a look at probably the most special car that Power House Amuse has ever created: the Z33 380RS Superleggera, which was Tanabe-san's last creation before his unfortunate death in late 2008. He took a great Japanese car and made it even better by refining every aspect of the Z-from the engine to the suspension-and topping it off with a beautifully sculpted, forward-thinking design. And now that 2010 is here, Amuse is back with an equally stunning creation based on the new Z34 370Z. Following in the footsteps of the great man himself, the guys at Amuse-with the guidance of Mrs. Tanabe, who's now in charge of the business-have come up with a full bodykit for this new Z car. Its official debut was at the Tokyo Auto Salon, but we were able to get up close and personal with both of these cars before the show over at Amuse headquarters in Kisarazu, Japan.
Getting to the Amuse shop from central Tokyo takes an hour; the premises are strategically situated close to the exit of the Aqua Line underwater tunnel that connects the capital to the golf-club-infested countryside of Chiba-ken. Upon our arrival we were greeted by both new Z34 demo cars, the 6-speed manual white car and the more street-oriented automatic 370Z in yellow, which in Japan continues to wear the Fairlady Z nameplate. Like all of the cars that have come from Amuse in the past, the Z34 will serve as the company's canvas to show its tuning capabilities. The project is in its first phase, which has seen the development of a full titanium exhaust system and Hi Tech-Rom ECU to get a fractional increase in power and torque from the VQ37HR. As always, Amuse takes great care in designing its exhausts, ensuring that they sound great and also look amazing, thanks to impossibly smooth and clean welds and the company's signature blue heat-treatment.
The setup on the demo car begins with the R1 titanium front pipe that's said to give a noticeable difference in mid-range torque and response between 3000-5000 rpm. The twin R1 Sports-Cat catalysts allow for increased flow but keep emissions within Japanese standards. The R1 Titan Extra STTI takes care of creating that unmistakable Amuse burble at idle, which progressively mutates into a full on wail as rpm rises. A quieter but slightly more expensive version of this exhaust system is also available-perfect for those who have unforgiving neighbors!
The first stage of engine tuning has been complemented with an upgraded suspension package, again an Amuse deigned and developed product, the H-Tech Damper kit. The dampers are height adjustable and in the front feature a pillow upper mount to allow for more aggressive levels of negative camber. These are paired with stiffer springs, 12 kg/mm up front and firmer 14 kg/mm coils in the rear. This will help any Z34 shave off considerable time around a track, but at the same time stay compliant around town by soaking up surface imperfections just like the stock suspension. Above all, this preliminary stage of modifications has greatly impacted the aesthetics of the 370Z, thanks to the brand-new Vestito ("suit" in Italian) bodykit.
The inspiration for the design of this smooth lineup of body parts was taken from the Maserati Granturismo GT4 race car, especially up the front where thin lateral intakes initiate a downward-flowing spoiler line, which on the white demo car was painted black to highlight its aggressive curvature. Gone are the fangs found on the stock bumper, replaced with a much larger front air dam to aid cooling. The kit continues with simple side skirts, but it's the rear end that gets the most aggressive treatment. It looks very daring at first, but it soon makes sense. We particularly like how the license plate surround has been painted black on the white car to make the centersection with the twin triangular air outlets stand out. Helping keep the rear end planted when out on track, Amuse created an oversized spoiler equipped with a thin carbon-fiber gurney flap, but to really set off the 370Z Vestito a set of 20-inch BBS LM-R forged wheels were thrown on, wrapped in Potenza RE050A rubber to amply fill in the stock wheels arches.
On top of the prohibitively expensive Recaro carbon-Kevlar bucket seats, Amuse has replaced the stock rear strut tower bar cover with a titanium piece, heat-treated in the same way as its exhausts to create that unmistakable blue finish. Throughout the course of 2010, these 370Zs will be cars to watch as the Amuse crew continues to improve them with upcoming new parts. The late Tanabe-san can rest assured the mighty Amuse name will continue to live long, thanks to top-quality cars like this.
Specs & Details '10 Nissan 370Z Engine Modifications Amuse R1 titanium front pipe, R1 Sports-Cat catalysts, R1 Titan Extra STTI titanium exhaust system and Hi Tech-Rom ECU
Suspension Amuse Hi-Tech Damper Kit and titanium rear strut tower bar
Wheels & Tires BBS LM-R 9Jx20" +8 (f), 10Jx20" + 18 (r), Bridgestone Potenza RE 050A 255/30/20 (f), 285/30/20 (r)
Amuse Burnt Blue
Often imitated but never replicated, Amuse's burnt-blue exhaust tips and parts are easily the best-looking on the market. Many exhaust manufacturers try to achieve the same look, but with varying results. Be prepared to pay a hefty price if you want the authentic Amuse burnt-blue-tip look, though.