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Chasing the Sun in the Nissan 370Z Nismo

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Sometimes you don’t need the perfect car, you just need the perfect car for right now. This weekend it was the 2020 Nissan 370Z Nismo. It’s the type of car that inspires you to chase the sun to a coastal sunset, changing your mood, bringing you back to what matters.

2020 is taking its toll on all of us, and this was an especially tough week for a multitude of reasons. I’m lucky enough to be spending the week in a 370Z Nismo, and I was up to the challenge.

With one cupholder, a race-ready suspension, and an infotainment system that still calls your iPhone an iPod it’s not the first thing that crosses your mind when you think of driving across a state to wade into a sunset — but the 370Z Nismo proved it can be the perfect companion.

There’s something ethereal about a car that demands your attention to every part of the road. The raw car experience and the rewarding roar as you’re pushed into your seat can change my mood in a way that few things on this earth can.

This weekend the 370Z’s Recaro seats hugged me tightly as I weaved across the state of Michigan chasing the sun to the west coast where I waded into the water for the first time in decades.

Along the way, the 370Z Nismo roared as we passed the mundanities of Saturdays across the state. Up through Ann Arbor to try new food and a delicious dessert as complex as the parts that make up the Nismo and through interchanges and tree-lined highways.

Driving across notoriously rough roads of Michigan I felt every mile. Although I required a few stops for refilling, the Z only needed to be filled once as the NISMO tuned 3.7L VQ V6 engine managed almost 24 miles per gallon for the trip.

Normally CarPlay support is a must-have feature, but on this mostly-unplugged sprint to the coast, Waze and Spotify were enough to sustain. The sound system in the 370Z is perfect for singing along to old favorites or calming down with an audiobook as home and reality draw near. If you want to recreate a trip like this, bring a car charger, since the built-in USB port doesn’t provide enough power to keep up with the battery demands of GPS directions and streaming music.

After a few hours on the road, the Z and I pulled into a small beach town. The drive left behind frustrations and to-do lists in a way that I rarely experience.

Changing into gym shorts that served as my only spare clothes on this impromptu journey, I left the 370Z parked in a sand-covered lot and walked down to see the sun greeting clouds as it’s pinks and oranges mixed with the blue of Lake Michigan.

At this moment the decision to take the 370Z on an unplanned trip to the coast proved to be exactly what I needed.

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