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Nissan 350Z

Nissan 350Z
2008 Nissan 350Z Grand Touring Convertible Shown
A proper sports car for the everyman. If we had just one sentence to describe the Nissan 350Z, that'd be it. While there have always been plenty of unobtainable sports cars out there to drool over, the 350Z's relatively compact dimensions, rear-wheel drive, two seats, muscular engine and sharp handling came at a price that real people could actually afford.
The Nissan 350Z represented the fifth generation of "Z" sports cars from this Japanese manufacturer. At its debut in 2003, the 350Z represented a key component of Nissan's rebirth in the North American market. For much of the late '90s and early new millennium, Nissan's lineup was full of lackluster cars. The Z brought back the company's spirit of fun and performance that had been missing ever since the discontinuation of the previous 300ZX.
The 350Z coupe was replaced by the 370Z coupe for 2009, while the 350Z roadster lived on before following suit the following year. In coupe or drop-top form, the 350Z was quite popular so finding a nice example on the used car market should be relatively easy. That said, keen shoppers will want to pay close attention to the car's changes and updates that were made through the years.
Most Recent Nissan 350Z

The 350Z sports car bowed in 2003 as an all-new model and was produced until 2008 (coupe) and 2009 (roadster). The first year there was only a coupe, as the roadster did not debut until the following year. Initially, the coupe came in base, Enthusiast, Performance, Touring and Track versions, while the roadster was limited to Enthusiast and Touring trim levels. The Track trim came with lightweight wheels and Brembo brakes, but its suspension tuning was the same as all other coupes.
In these early years, the V6 produced 287 hp and 274 lb-ft of torque. Power was sent to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. The Track model had the manual only. Changes were minimal in the first few years, though Nissan did release a 350Z 35th-anniversary edition in '05. This manual-transmission model produced 300 hp (but less torque) and came in three exclusive colors.
For '06, Nissan included the Anniversary Edition's 300-hp V6 for all manual-equipped cars. There were a host of other changes as well, including mildly updated styling, speed-sensitive steering, larger brakes for non-Brembo-equipped models, a higher-quality interior, more standard features and a newly available navigation system. The Performance trim level was dropped. This was also the first year for the Grand Touring trim level, which was similar to the Touring but had the Track's Brembo brakes and wheels.
For '07, Nissan fully updated the V6 for all 350Zs and it made a potent 306 hp. The Track trim level was dropped, but in its place came the coupe-only Nismo 350Z model. The Nismo model dropped many luxuries in favor of performance-enhancing upgrades, such as a stiffened, seam-welded chassis, firmer springs and shock absorbers, special wheels and various aerodynamic upgrades. Inside, each Nismo 350Z had red and black cloth seats, a gray-faced tachometer and a number plaque indicating its build order in the production run. Nismo models were also produced for the coupe's last year in 2008; the following year brought the all-new 370Z coupe. For '09, the roadster carried the 350Z flag; the following year it was replaced by the all-new 370Z roadster.
In reviews, we found the Nissan 350Z to be an engaging sports car to drive hard. The V6 pulled strongly when revved past 3,000 rpm and generated one of the most distinctive engine and exhaust-note soundtracks available (something its successor lacks). The 350Z's ability to provide serious grip through corners made it a favorite of our enthusiast editors. At the limit, the car's handling could be a bit tricky, so steady hands were required.
When employed on a daily basis, the Nissan 350Z didn't make for such a compelling companion. Road and tire noise were considerable, and the car's stiff suspension transmitted plenty of shock to its occupants when driven on rough pavement. Inside, the Z's cabin was functional but decidedly stark. Some of the interior trim was of low quality, and the luggage capacity of the roadster was compromised, even for this class of car.
Considering the 350Z's gradual improvements in features and hardware over the years, consumers interested in a used Nissan 350Z should generally try to purchase the newest year possible. Notable options to look for would be side airbags (they were optional on the coupe and not always standard on the roadster) and stability control (which came on Touring coupes as well as Grand Touring and Track trim levels).

Design and layout

The 350Z is a front-mid engine rear-wheel-drive two door,two seat, sports car designed by Ajay Panchal of Nissan Design America(San Diego, California).
The vehicle features the long-hood short-deck design common to the Z-Car family. Currently, external design highlights include: sloping fastback style roof line, unique brushed aluminium door handles, high waistline, and bulging fenders that are pushed out to the corners of the vehicle.
Interior cabin design is straight forward with brushed aluminium accents. The main gauge pod is mounted directly to the steering column allowing their movement to coincide with steering wheel adjustments. Additional gauges are mounted in a center triple gauge cluster (similar to the 240Z/260Z/280Z). The 350Z’s interior does not have a conventional glove box, instead it makes use of various storage compartments located either behind or between the 2 seats.


Released on August 20, 2002, the 350Z coupé was available in the U.S. in 5 trim packages: '350Z' (Base), 'Enthusiast', 'Performance', 'Touring', and 'Track' editions. In Europe only the 'Track' trim was available, although it was badged and marketed as '350Z'.
Nissan 350Z roadster
In 2004 Nissan introduced the 350Z Roadster featuring an electrically retractable soft-top roof. In the U.S. market the car was available in just 2 trim packages (Enthusiast and Touring), while in Europe, the same versions as the coupé were offered. Nissan added the Grand Touring (GT) trim to the Roadster trim packages for 2005.[citation needed]
In 2005 Nissan launched a 35th Anniversary edition, with a revised exterior and interior (see Special Editions below). 35th Anniversary 6-speed manual models and Track models were a mid-year introduction, and included the 300HP/260TQ Rev-up engine. Automatic transmission-equipped 35th Anniversary edition models continued with the original VQ35DE with 287HP/274TQ.
For the 2006 model year, the 350Z received a number of notable changes for its mid-cycle facelift. The 300HP/260TQ Rev-up engine that was introduced mid-year 2005 with 6-speed manual was offered for every trim now. Purchasing a 5-speed automatic meant you still got the VQ35DE with 287HP/274TQ. The headlights now sported larger bi-xenon projectors, the front bumper had been revised, the rear taillights now use LEDs, and interior changes brought differences to the center console, among other small things. Touring and Grand Touring models have radio-steering controls standard, MP3 CD compatibility, and Satellite Radio became an available option. The 5AT transmission also received an update, which made it rev-match for every downshift.
For the 2007 model year, the 350Z was again moderately revised. The VQ35DE V6 was replaced with a new, but still 3.5 L VQ35HR V6. It produced 306 hp (228 kW) at 6800 rpm with 268 ft·lbf (363 N·m) at 4800 rpm. The hood was revised featuring a bulge reminiscent of the original 240Z. In the US, trims levels were narrowed down to 350Z (base), Enthusiast, Touring, and Grand Touring, while in Europe the same trim levels remained.

NISMO 350Z (2007-2008)

NISMO 350Z (2007–2008)

This edition of the 350Z Coupé debuted in New York International Auto Show on 2007-04-04. This version featured the same engine as the regular 350Z (VQ35HR) with 6-speed manual transmission only. The car featured NISMO aerodynamics package based on the Super GT championship car, which included an aggressive front fascia with chin spoiler, side skirts, an extended rear fascia with under body diffuser and a rear wing. The car also had NISMO-tuned independent multi-link suspension, Brembo brakes with four-piston front and two-piston rear calipers (with 12.8-inch (330 mm) front and 12.7-inch (320 mm) rear rotors) and NISMO-branded gunmetal grey RAYS alloy wheels (18x9-inch front and 19x10-inch rear with 245/40WR18 front, 265/35WR19 rear Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires), and NISMO-branded tuned exhaust. All Nismo versions are "Ready For Track" with the safety equipment in it.
NISMO 350Z went on sale in the US in July 2007 at Nissan dealers.