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Nissan 350Z 35th Anniversary 2005 review

The 350Z brought the Zed car back to its sports-coupe roots, shedding the soft edges and extra kilos put on during a 1980s weight gain.

The arrival of the lean, lithe and powerful 350Z in 2003 was music to performance car fans ears, offering rear-wheel drive and plenty of punch from the 3.5-litre V6 engine.

The tune turned mournful when the 200SX's demise was announced, but we live in hope of the Skyline GT-R's imminent twin-turboed return. For now, the 350Z will have to do. That sounds a little ungrateful, as the standard 350Z is more than ample for anyone looking for a self-indulgent weekender machine that is an uncompromising as it is rapid. Nissan has put that little bit of extra effort in, with new-look 18in alloy wheels, upgraded seats and more power. Not that it needed it, but we'll take it just the same.

The 35th Anniversary 350Z is now propelled by 221kW of power at 6400rpm (up by 15kW) and 353Nm of torque (a slight drop from 363Nm at 4800rpm), delivered by the fitment of revised pistons, camshafts and smarter exhaust valve timing.

As you'd expect from a hard-core unit like the Zed, it's available only with a six-speed manual transmission. This takes a little time to get used to, with an abrupt clutch and slick shift that requires a certain amount of rhythm.

Once in tune with the Zed, it's no problem to whip through the gears. The Zed has growled since it was first resurrected. Some hate it, others don't mind it but it's all part of the package. While it's not the ideal commuter, adulation is quickly brought about slicing along a twisting back road.

There's no turbo rush, just a sweet V6 tune that begs for revs. Stabbing at the brakes reduces the blurring of scenery and the sharp steering and suspension put the snout exactly where it's required.

The seat is too close to the pedals for my 190cm frame but the steering (with its connected instrument binnacle) can be adjusted to cope.

The stability control will ruin some of the enthusiast's fun, but it can be switched off.

The 350Z has an independent multi-link suspension front and rear with a front strut tower brace and an integrated rear strut tower brace, as well as front and rear stabiliser bars. The 18in alloy wheels are wrapped in performance tyres.

There are even instructions on the inside of the boot lid about how best to load golf clubs, but if I owned it I would cancel the golf club membership and take out a competition car club membership.

For a performance V6, the Zed car returned a decent 12.2 litres/100km, with a 47km/h average speed.

The price tag is a little higher than the everyday Zed cars. Where the manual Touring and Track models remain at $59,990 and $65,990 (add $2800 for the auto), the Anniversary model slides in at $67,990, below the drop-top Roadster at $70,990.

Creating a classic

1966: Nissan Motor Co identified a market for an agile, compact GT whose performance could outrun its price. Nissan began working on a prototype which would become the 240Z.

1969: Production lines started producing left-hand-drive Z Cars at the Shatai factory in Tokyo. Datsun 240Z went on sale in the U.S. as a 1970 model.

1970: Production of right-hand-drive 240Zs started in January and later that year the 240Z went on sale in Australia for $4570.

1973: At the end of the 240Z production run, all-time sales reached 116,712 units, with nearly 2500 sold in Australia. The 260Z replaced the 240Z, and went on sale in Australia in 1974. The 2+2 version was introduced that year, too.

1979: The 260Z was phased out and replaced by the 280Z and then ZX, with a new 2.8-litre fuel-injected engine. The suspension, body and interior were more about luxury than sports-coupe.

1986: The Z car lived on with a 300ZX three-litre turbocharged V6 replaced by a new-shape car also called 300ZX in the 1990s, until early 1997.

Pricing Guides

Based on third party pricing data
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Range and Specs

Roadster 3.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $10,120 – 13,860 2005 Nissan 350Z 2005 Roadster Pricing and Specs
Roadster Touring 3.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $10,890 – 14,850 2005 Nissan 350Z 2005 Roadster Touring Pricing and Specs
Roadster Track 3.5L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $10,890 – 14,850 2005 Nissan 350Z 2005 Roadster Track Pricing and Specs
35th Anniversary 3.5L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $10,010 – 13,640 2005 Nissan 350Z 2005 35th Anniversary Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


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