|Nissan 350Z (Z33)|
|Also called||Nissan Fairlady Z|
|Designer||Diane Allen, Mamoru Aoki, Ajay Panchal (2000)|
|Body and chassis|
|Platform||Nissan FM platform|
|Wheelbase||2,649 mm (104.3 in)|
|Width||1,816 mm (71.5 in)|
|Curb weight||3,188–3,602 lb (1,446–1,634 kg)|
Main article: Nissan Z-car
The Nissan 350Z (known as Nissan Fairlady Z Z33 in Japan) is a two seat sports car that was manufactured by Nissan from 2002 to 2009 and marks the fifth generation (codename: Z33) of Nissan's Z-car line. The 350Z entered production in late 2002 and was sold and marketed as a 2003 model. 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. The Nissan 350Z has been succeeded by the 370Z for the 2009 model year.
- 1 Background
- 2 Concept models
- 3 Design and layout
- 4 Models
- 5 Special Editions
- 6 NISMO Editions
- 7 Motorsport
- 8 Advertising and promotions
- 9 Specifications
- 10 Sales by calendar year
- 11 Awards and recognition
- 12 Further reading
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
After the Nissan 300ZX was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 1996, Nissan initially tried to keep the Z name alive by re-creating the 240Z the following year. The car was conceived by Nissan's North American design team in their free time, and the concept was introduced in a four state Road Show in July 1998 to various car media, dealers and employees. Yutaka Katayama, regarded as the "Father of the Z" unveiled the Z concept sketch to the public when he received a motor industry award. The design, representing a modern vision of the 240Z, did not please the original 240Z designer Yoshihiko Matsuo, who compared it to the Bluebird and Leopard.
The 240Z concept was produced for the Detroit Motor Show for the following August and September. Nissan was unhappy with the first design as they felt the original 200 bhp (149 kW; 203 PS) 2.4 L engine known as the KA24DE that was going to be assigned made the car feel underpowered, they also felt the car was considered too "retro" or too "backward" resembling a futuristic 240Z; thus, a redesign was commissioned. During a press conference in February 2000, president Carlos Ghosn announced plans to produce the car as he felt the new model would help to assist the company's recovery.
The Z Concept was unveiled in Detroit Motor Show two years later, which was similar in body shape but with a new front end. The car then underwent a minor redesign and was eventually assigned the VQ35DE engine, hence becoming known as the 350Z.
240Z concept (1999)
Nissan unveiled the 240Z concept car at the 1999 North American International Auto Show, then later at the Los Angeles Auto Expo. The concept was designed by Ajay Panchal of Nissan's California design studio. Clearly a throwback to the original, it was a bright orange two-seater with classic swept-back styling. In addition, it was fully functional, with the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder KA24DE engine from the Nissan Altima featuring 200 bhp (150 kW) and 180 lb·ft (244 N·m) of torque. The designers used an original 240Z to provide inspiration and the concept was created in only 12 weeks. Fortunately, critics said "it would be cool but get a new model."
Design and layout
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 straightforward 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). Touring models are equipped with the Bose sound system get a six CD changer and 8" Bose sub mounted behind the driver's seat. 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 two seats.
|This section called "Models" needs additional citations for verification. (June 2008)|
Released on July 2002 in Japan at reorganized Nissan Japanese dealerships called Nissan Blue Stage, and August 20, 2002 in the U.S., the 350Z coupé was available 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'.
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.
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 VQ35DE 300HP/260TQ Rev-up engine. Automatic transmission-equipped 35th Anniversary edition models continued with the original VQ35DE with 287HP/274TQ.[clarification needed]
For the 2006 model year, the 350Z received a number of notable changes for its mid-cycle facelift. The VQ35DE 300HP/260TQ Rev-up engine that was introduced mid-year 2005 with 6-speed manual was offered for every trim now. The VQ35DE with 287HP/274TQ was offered with the 5-speed automatic. New features included bi-xenon projectors, a revised front fascia, new LED rear lights, and changes to the interior trim. Touring and Grand Touring models have radio-steering controls standard, MP3 CD compatibility, and Satellite Radio became an available option.
For the 2007 model year, the 350Z was again moderately revised. The VQ35DE V6 was replaced with a new VQ35HR V6. It produced 306 hp (228 kW) at 6800 rpm with 268 ft·lbf (363 N·m) at 4800 rpm using the revised SAE certified power benchmark. The hood was redesigned featuring a bulge reminiscent of the original 240Z in order to accommodate the revised twin-throttle design of the new VQ35HR V6 engine. In the US, trim levels were narrowed down to 350Z (base), Enthusiast, Touring, and Grand Touring, while in Europe the same trim levels remained. Bluetooth was added for the 2007 model year.
Fairlady Z Type E (2004)
A limited run (only 5 units) called the Type E was produced in Japan in order to meet homologation requirements to compete in the Super GT series. The Type-E featured a longer nose and rear overhang as well as a few extra aerodynamic aids.
350Z Gran Turismo 4 Limited Edition
Set for limited release Spring 2005, Nissan 350Z Gran Turismo 4 Limited Edition featured the Nissan 350Z, in Ultra Yellow and Kuro Black body colors, as its focus. Only 700 copies of this collectors' item were released in the time period. The unique coupé with 3.5 liter VQ35DE engine has 300 hp (10 hp more than original) at 6400 rpm, but the red line starts at 7000 rpm.
350Z 35th Anniversary Edition (2005)
To commemorate the 35th anniversary of the début of the Datsun 240Z, Nissan released a tuned version of the 350Z coupé. The 35th Anniversary Z was débuted at the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas on November 2, followed by its first public appearance at the Miami Auto Show in early November. It went on sale in January 2005.
The 35th Anniversary Edition includes an updated VQ35DE 320 hp (220 kW) V6 engine for the six-speed auto transmission model. Other key 35th Anniversary Z equipment (standard on six-speed automatic-equipped versions) includes unique 18-inch (460 mm) cast aluminium-alloy wheels, front spoilers, Brembo brakes and special Z badging. The car comes in a variety of unique colours "Ultra Yellow" body colours. This Z's interior also was available with a black set configuration. Also included was a Bose 7-speaker premium sound system. Only 500 copies of this collectors' item were released.
During the 2006 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE) unveiled the 350Z GT-S concept. The GT-S featured a unique radial flow supercharger (that could be turned on or off via a switch on the dashboard), raising the VQ35DE engine output to 382.6 bhp (285.3 kW; 387.9 PS) and 424.8 N·m (313.3 lb·ft) without modifications to the engine components. The car also featured new body kit for more cooling and downforce and wider 245 and 265/40/18 tires. No plans for production have been revealed, although there have been some hints that the package may be offered as an upgrade kit. The car has been tested favourably against its possible production rivals, the Porsche Cayman S and BMW Z4 M.
2008 Tokyo Auto Salon concepts (2008)
Nissan Fairlady Z Type F, XANAXI NISMO Z (SUPER GT 2007 GT500 Class), ENDLESS ADVAN Z (series winner of the Japan's SUPER TAIKYU 2007 endurance series) and Fairlady Z Version NISMO Type 380RS were unveiled in 2008 Tokyo Auto Salon.
Fairlady Z Type F (2008-)
It is a version of Nissan Fairlady Z coupe and roadster for Japan market, with:
- choice of 6 body colours (premium blaze red (3 coat colour), premium sunshine yellow (3 coat pearl), premium mystic maroon (multiflex colour), blade silver metallic, diamond black pearl, white pearl (3 coat pearl))
- exclusive red leather seat with heater, red leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, red leather parking brake lever, red door trim and arm rest stage, aluminium kicking plate, front and rear fender mould, RAYS forged aluminium wheels, Bridgestone Potenza RE050A 245/40R18 93W front and 265/35R19 94W rear tire, driver power seat (slide, reclining), front passenger power seat (slide), BOSE audio system, VDC, brembo 4-wheel bench rated disk brake, brembo 4-wheel aluminium caliper piston brake. Buyers with premium blaze red, premium sunshine yellow, premium mystic maroon body colour models (100 units each) before 2008-03-31 also receive Fairlady Z original key holder.
The vehicles went on sale in 2008-01-10.
Nissan's performance tuning division, NISMO, began producing modified versions of the 350Z shortly after its introduction, although in the UK these were only available one year after the car was launched.
NISMO R-Tune (2004)
The R-Tune was introduced into the NISMO line-up with modifications including headers, cams, pulleys. The R-Tune voids the Nissan factory warranty, but gains significant horsepower, intended for track racers.
NISMO S-Tune GT (2005)
The S-Tune GT was released by NISMO to celebrate its success in motorsport, particularly in the Super GT series. The S-Tune GT featured revised long nose bodywork as in the Type-E, a modified version of the VQ35DE engine called the S1 with more power (300 PS / 221 kW / 296 hp) and higher redline (7200 rpm), as well as a sportier NISMO suspension.
20 were produced each month in Japan. Although Nissan did not officially sell S-Tune in UK, Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd. imported 1 S-Tune GT to UK
NISMO 350Z (2007–2008)
The Nismo edition of the Nissan 350Z Coupé debuted at New York International Auto Show on April 4, 2007. This version featured the same engine as the regular 350Z (VQ35HR) but was only available with a 6-speed manual transmission. 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 developed by Yamaha, 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 a NISMO-branded tuned exhaust. The conversion process for the Nismo 350Z began with a limited number of chassis being pulled from the assembly line to be sent to Nissan-tuner Autech to have structural seams hand-welded for greater body rigidity. This process made the Nismo 350Z a more capable track car than the other currently available trim levels.
The NISMO 350Z went on sale in the USA in July 2007 at Nissan dealers. 1607 were produced for the 2007 and 2008 model years, and it was assumed that if there was a greater demand, more would be produced, limited to 10% of all 350Z sales. The NISMO model 350Z had a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $38,070 for the 2007 model year.
NISMO Type 380RS (2007)
Released as the road version for Japanese market of the Type 380RS-Competition race car, it includes the VQ35HR engine stroked and bored to 3.8-litre, rated 257 kW (350 PS/350 hp) at 7200 rpm and 397 N·m (40.5 kgf·m/293 lbf·ft) at 4800 rpm torque. Brembo disc brakes are fitted, as are Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R tires (245/40R18 in front, 275/35R19 in the rear) with RAYS wheels. Front and rear dampers come from Yamaha.
NISMO Type 380RS-Competition
It is the race car for which NISMO Type 380RS is based. The 3798 cc engine rated 294 kW (400 PS) at 7500 rpm and 421 Nm (43 kgm) at 5200 rpm torque. This in turn is based on the GT 500 race car that Nissan enters into the Super GT championship.
According to Nissan, the race car cost 26.25 million yen.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2011)|
Since its introduction in 2002, it did not take long for drivers and teams to enter a Z33 for competition when B.J. Zacharias and Michiel Schuitemaker of Schuitemaker Motorsports helped the car to make its début in the Grand-Am Cup Series at the start of the 2003 season. They have taken a few podium finishes with Unitech Racing who is also the other team to field a Z33, but effort was proved to be successful under the name of Geddings Racing scoring wins along with the other current Grand-Am entrant East Competition Promotorsport. The Grand-Am Cup car has also been used in the new FIA GT4 European Cup. Schuitemaker Motorsports with drivers Michiel Schuitemaker and BJ Zacharias won 3rd place in the '03 Grand-Am Cup season. The following year, they improved and finished in 2nd place. Schuitemaker Motorsports was sponsored by 350EVO, a manufacturer of performance 350Z parts. After winning 3rd overall in the '03 season, Nissan had Wright Tuning build a new 350Z race car for the '04 season. This car differed from the '03 car in that it was completely stripped and seam welded. The cage was lighter and stiffer by using different diameter tubing where possible. The car used a Menard's built engine with a Pectel engine management system. Overall racing weight was 2,450 lb (1,110 kg) which was the minimum allowable weight for its class. The '04 chassis proved to be the most successful chassis to run in Grand-Am to date. The '03 chassis was sold to a French team with Edouardo Atkatlan as the driver. It still competes in the European "Fun Races" today, winning 2nd place in the inaugural '07 race in Madrid.
The 350Z replaced the Skyline GT-R as the car for Nissan's factory and customer teams in the Super GT's GT 500 class. The cars used are heavily modified and feature a longer nose and tail (requiring the production of the Type-E homologation special), carbon fiber bodywork, and a tube chassis. In 2004, NISMO won the GT500 championship. Until the 2007 season, the car was powered by a VQ30DETT V6. In order to increase competitiveness, however, a new 4.5L V8 powerplant has been developed. The 350Z, with slightly more pedestrian modifications also competes in the GT300 class (having started there even before the Skyline GT-Rs were replaced) by teams such as Endless Sports and Mola. In 2003 Hasemi Sports won the GT300 championship with the 350Z. In 2008 season, the 350Zs were all replaced by Nissan GT-Rs in the GT500 class, but they have continued to be used in the GT300 class as the GT-Rs exceed the horsepower limits which make it impossible to participate. Thus, two 350Zs competed in the series and MOLA won the both Drivers' and Teams' championships in the GT300 class.
The Z33 also appears in the Japan's Super Taikyu series, entered by C-West Labs.
British GT Championship
The car is considered popular choice for amateurs and professionals in SCCA events, T.C Kline took third place in the 2003 Touring 2 category in 2003, having been one of three Z33s that made it into the SCCA T-2 runoffs. In the SCCA GT2 class, Jim Goughary took the title in the car's debut season.
In 2012, NASA  (National Auto Sport Association), created a class specifically for the 350Z. The "Spec Z" class includes all trim levels of the popular 2003-2008 Nissan 350Z in a single class focused on close competition, parity and cost containment that will showcase driving ability and car setup skills. The road racing series is backed by Nissan Motorsports and BFG Tires. The 2012 class rules are in their infant stage, but will solidify by mid-2012.
The car is used in import events and drifting, where in the latter, some drivers such as Tanner Foust, have started to use them with success in the D1 Grand Prix and Formula D series. At the 2006 D1GP exhibition event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Tanner Foust became the first driver to score a perfect 100 points in a 350Z. In the non-Japanese domestic D1GP spinoff series, D1 Great Britain (D1GB), there are two Z33s that compete in the series. Of the 2007 season, both SVA Imports and Sumo Power 350Z currently competes in the EDC (European Drift Championship), which is run by a different organization to D1, and in Formula D, Foust took runner up spot at round 1 and at round 2, Chris Forsberg would score its maiden victory in his Roadster equipped with a VK56DE from a Nissan Titan. His win for the 350Z was followed up by Youichi Imamura's win during the Las Vegas round of the US D1GP series in his RB26DETT engined car. Foust would eventually take the Formula D title.
The SVA Imports Z33 is significant for being the other drifting car other than the Team Orange Impreza to feature a rear radiators with air ventilation on both sides rather than just on one on the Impreza.
Open Road racing
Option magazine founder Daijiro Inada used an extensively modified 350Z, dubbed Option Stream Z to compete in the Silver State Classic Challenge. The car was equipped with a GReddy/Trust T88 turbo-charger and was stroked to 3.8 L to produce over 900 bhp (671 kW; 912 PS). The Option Stream Z was also featured in the PlayStation 2 game title Gran Turismo 4 and in the PlayStation 3 game Gran Turismo 5
Land speed record
In 2004, the tuner Dandy and magazine Option entered a Z33 known as the Option Dandy 380Z with a donor engine from a wrecked Stream Z minus turbocharger producing 370 bhp (276 kW; 375 PS), to compete in the F/GT class for unblown grand touring sport cars at the Bonneville Speed Week. The car could at best reach 151 mph (243 km/h), which is likely much lower than its true top speed, due to the surface conditions of the salt flats, and the measurement being based on a fixed distance. On pavement, even stock 2005–08 350Zs can reach 156 mph (251 km/h), which is the speed at which the governor is set.
Advertising and promotions
To promote the 350Z, Nissan released a short film, "The Run", with a 2003 model being driven in a high-speed run through city streets of up to 200 km/h (124 mph). This took place through the narrow cobblestone streets of Prague in the Czech Republic, and lasted six and a half minutes.
|Available Trims||350Z (base), Enthusiast, Performance, Touring, Track||350Z (base), Enthusiast, Performance, Touring, Track, Anniversary||350Z (base), Enthusiast, Touring, Grand Touring, Track||Coupé: Base, Enthusiast, Touring, Grand Touring, NISMO
Roadster: Enthusiast, Touring, Grand Touring
|Engine||VQ35DE 3.5 L (210 cu in) V6
287 hp (214 kW; 291 PS) at 6,200 rpm
274 lb·ft (371 N·m) at 4,800 rpm
|VQ35DE 3.5 L (210 cu in) V6
287 hp (214 kW; 291 PS) at 6,200 rpm
274 lb·ft (371 N·m) at 4,800 rpm
VQ35DE 3.5 L (210 cu in) V6
300 hp (224 kW; 304 PS) at 6,400 rpm
260 lb·ft (353 N·m) at 4,800 rpm
|VQ35DE 3.5 L (210 cu in) V6
300 hp (224 kW; 304 PS) at 6,400 rpm
260 lb·ft (353 N·m) at 4,800 rpm
|VQ35HR 3.5 L (210 cu in) V6
306 hp (228 kW; 310 PS) at 6,800 rpm
268 lb·ft (363 N·m) at 4,800 rpm
|Transmission||6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic|
3,188 lb (1,446 kg) (Base)
3,197 lb (1,450 kg) (Enth)
3,217 lb (1,459 kg) (Perf)
3,247 lb (1,473 kg) (Tour)
3,225 lb (1,463 kg) (Track)
3,428 lb (1,555 kg) (Enth)
3,462 lb (1,570 kg) (Tour)
3,339 lb (1,515 kg) (Base)
3,346 lb (1,518 kg) (Enth)
3,400 lb (1,500 kg) (Tour)
3,404 lb (1,544 kg) (Grand)
3,353 lb (1,521 kg) (NISMO)
3,580 lb (1,620 kg) (Enth)
3,600 lb (1,600 kg) (Tour)
3,602 lb (1,634 kg) (Grand)
|Wheelbase||104.3 in (2,650 mm)|
|Length||169.8 in (4,310 mm)|
|Width||71.5 in (1,820 mm)|
|Height||52.1 in (1,320 mm)|
Sales by calendar year
Awards and recognition
The 350Z has been given extensive coverage in the automotive press, and has obtained generally positive reviews. Eddie Alterman, senior editor of Automobile Magazine, said of the 350Z "An outstanding performance value. They got all the important stuff right." While David Swigg of Motor Trend said "With a competent driver at the wheel and the traction control switched off, many Boxster drivers would be hard-pressed to post better lap times than with this Z." Top Gear magazine later awarded the Nissan Designers with the 2004 Top Gear Magazine Car of the year award.
Automotive journalists tend to praise such features as the 350Z's value, performance, handling, and braking. Criticisms tend to be directed towards the grade of interior plastics, greater curb weight than its competitors, cabin ergonomics and engine refinement. Other reviews have criticised reflections off the back strut in the rear window.
The 350Z has been recognized including the following:
- Japanese Performance Car of the Year 2007 TopSpeed Magazine
- 10 Best Cars 2003 Car and Driver
- Most Significant Vehicle of the Year. Two years running Edmunds.com
- Editors' Most Wanted 2003 Edmunds.com
- International Car of the Year: Most Sex Appeal Award 2003 Road and Travel
- Canadian Car of the Year 2003 Automobile Journalists Association of Canada
- Best New Design 2003 Automobile Journalists Association of Canada
- Driver's Choice Best Performance Car 2003 MotorWeek
- Winner 12 Best Cars Under 30K Road & Track
- Car of the Year 2004 Top Gear Magazine
- Automobile of the Year 2003 Automobile Magazine
- Cover of Forza Motorsport 2 (and shared cover of Forza Motorsport)
With 143 deaths per million registrations, the two-door 350Z model year 2005 to 2008 has topped the list of The 10 Deadliest Vehicles on the Road in the United States
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nissan 350Z.|
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- Nissan Japan pages: 2002-2007, 2007-2008
- Nissan 350Z Official US Site
- Nissan 350Z Official UK Site
- Nissan 350Z Official Australia Site
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