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 |   |  Nissan Stillen 370Z - Stealin' The Stillen
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Nissan Stillen 370Z - Stealin' The Stillen

Car Jacked

Sean Klingelhoefer
Dec 8, 2010

What can I say about the 370Z that hasn't already been said? It's largely an improvement of its already excellent successor, the 350Z. With all the money Nissan spent developing the 370Z, you would think the tuning potential of the vehicle would already have been reached, but rest assured, there's plenty of fun to unlock and that's just what the Nissan experts at Stillen have done with their Z34.

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One problem Nissan couldn't seem to eradicate with the introduction of the Z34 was the high oil temperature associated with VQ engines, and Stillen knew they would have to address this. To solve this dilemma the company has developed not one but two different oil coolers to tackle the problem: one is a street version and the other is designed for track duty. Both kits are impressively built using Setrab cores and Goodridge stainless lines. Stillen also incorporates a piece they call a "thermostatic sandwich plate," which actually bypasses the oil cooler until the engine reaches operating temperature to ensure the engine isn't over-cooled in colder climates.

When I took the car for a test drive I was completely unaware of the technowizardry going on to keep the car cool and as they say, ignorance is bliss. Everything I needed to know I could pick up from my five senses, and this car quickly puts a smile on your face- something no tech sheet can describe. As I cruised down the 10 toward PCH I couldn't decide which noise I liked more, the piercing shriek of the supercharger or the deep growl of the exhaust. When I penetrated the final tunnel before PCH, I gave the beast a little stab and as the exhaust note resonated I was greeted on the other side by a school bus full of smiling faces and energetic thumbs up-I had become the idol, if only for a brief moment, of adolescent boys.

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Undoubtedly it was the symphony the car emitted that had caught their initial interest, but the aggressive exterior styling is the kind of stuff begging to be plastered inside of a locker. The aero kit, which is fully functional, was designed and fabricated by Stillen and employs years of experience gained by Steve Millen from his days racing IMSA GT cars. At the front of the car you'll notice three openings that channel ample airflow to the intercooler, radiator, oil and power steering coolers as well as the brake ducts. In addition to the main orifices, there is an additional air diversion just under the front overhang that directs air straight to the intake.

Once I made it to the canyons of Malibu the car really started to come alive. After only a couple of corners it was obvious that Stillen knows exactly how to tune a street car, and every aspect of this Z is perfectly in balance. The horsepower on tap exceeds 500 but comes on smooth and controlled and gives the driver a feeling of confidence rather than sheer terror. The suspension is unmistakably KW and offers excellent stability and low body roll but still soaks up dips, bumps and potholes without any compromise in ride quality. Braking in short is phenomenal thanks to upgraded units in all corners from AP Racing which also equips title-winning race teams from F1 to NASCAR and everything in between.

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The worst part about the car if I'm honest was the fact that I had to give it back. It's really that good. With all of the experience Stillen has, I wasn't shocked that the car drove so well, but I was amazed that there was seemingly no drawback to any of the parts that had been installed, which I can't say for most tuned vehicles. Not only is the car very well-suited to everyday driving, but it's completely legal to boot-even the supercharger will likely be street-legal by the time you read this as the kit is CARB-pending. Although the modification list is short, the car speaks volumes to the adage of installing the right parts in key areas. If you own a 370Z you'd be wise to follow this formula, as you'd be hard pressed to improve upon it.

Fast Facts
Stillen 370Z
500+ hp
Engine Stillen 3.7L Supercharger system (supercharger, intake manifold, intercooler and piping), stainless steel after cat exhaust, high performance oil and power steering coolers
Engine Management Stillen ECU reflash
Footwork & Chassis KW Variant 3 coilovers; Stillen adjustable front and rear sway bars
Brakes AP Racing 6-piston calipers w/14.25'' rotors (front) and 4-piston calipers w/13'' rotors (rear); Stillen brake ducts
Wheels & Tires Enkei GTC01 wheels; Toyo R888 tires
Exterior Stillen urethane front bumper, side skirts, rear wing, roof wing; Seibon carbon-fiber hood

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By Sean Klingelhoefer
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