2007 Nissan 350Z Review
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- Nissan 350Z
Marketing and public relations general manager Ross Booth said the next model would not be bigger or heavier. It will stay true to the sports car genre
The new Z car is at least 18 months away, so Nissan has beefed up the power on its current 350Z to stir up flagging sales.
Out of the 95 countries that get the Japanese-built Z car, Australia is the fifth-largest market behind the US, Japan, Germany and the UK.
More than 4000 have been sold here since its 2003 release, but sales have slipped from 1600 in the first year to only 533 last year.
Now the most powerful sports car in the under $80,000 segment, it gets a 9kW power boost for the manual and 24kW for the auto, bringing it to 230kW with a bonnet hump or power bulge to cater for the taller V6 engine.
It now looks more like the original 1969 240Z.
Nissan claims the Z car now has 44 per cent more power than a Chrysler Crossfire, 30 per cent more than a Mazda RX8, 28 per cent over a Porsche Boxster or Cayman, 25 per cent on an Audi TT and 18 per cent on a BMW Z4 3.0si.
And at a starting price of $62,990 for the Coupe Touring manual, the 350Z is also cheaper than all but the RX8 at $54,565.
All prices are unchanged with the Touring auto $64,990, Coupe Track manual $67,990, and the Roadster's $73,990 for the Track manual and Touring auto.
Some 80 per cent of the engine, which has been 13 years in the world's top 10, has been modified with ram air, reprogrammed variable valve timing, larger exhaust manifold and a higher compression ratio.
As well as boosting horsepower, torque has also benefited from the engine mods, up 5Nm to 358Nm.
There is no change to either the combined fuel consumption figure or the CO2 emissions.
The engine also has been lowered 15mm to improve stability from the lower centre of gravity.
A new plant has been built in Japan just to build this engine.
Other changes to the 350Z are a 500rpm higher limit to 7500rpm, active head restraints in the cabin, new Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tyres as used on the new Commodore SS and three new colours, including a $500 pearlescent orange that glistens with a background of green in bright sunshine.
The new 45-profile tyres feature a new tread pattern which lowers road noise and softens the ride which was also improved last year in a suspension update.
The improvement is immediately evident in the Z car; the Roadster being one of the quietest soft tops on the scene.
While handling is still sharp, steering precise and body roll almost non-existent, the harshness of the ride has been diluted.
Nissan Motor Company Australia passenger car product manager Adrian Givoye said a hard top convertible was a maybe for the future.
He said 40 per cent of customers opted for the Track variant which features Brembo brake calipers, vehicle dynamic control, an optional burnt orange seats, front and rear spoilers, and a rear diffuser.
While the Touring has traction control, vehicle dynamic control is advisable on a rear-wheel-drive car with this much power.
Givoye said demand for automatic in the Track was so small it has been deleted from the range.
Inside, an illuminated ignition switch is the only change.
The Z car even retains the anachronistic cassette tape player and still does not have MP3 capability in the six-CD Bose sound system.
However, Givoye said they had been trying to get MP3 capability for some time.
“But for some reason they cannot supply it, even though it is offered in the US,” he said.
Nissan is also unable to supply a satellite navigation system, because of our network, yet there is a storage bin above the sound system where an aftermarket system could be installed.
“This is a performance vehicle. A raw sportscar.
“We haven't tried to soften it and add more luxury features,” he said.
Givoye said this was the last facelift for the 350Z which would be replaced in 2009.
“But we're working on a number of things to keep the Z alive, such as special editions.”
Marketing and public relations general manager Ross Booth said the next model would not be bigger or heavier.
It will stay true to the sports car genre.
Nissan 350Z Roadster, Coupe
POWER: 233kW @ 6800rpm
TORQUE: 358Nm @ 4800 rpm
REV LIMIT: 7500rpm (up from 7000)
ECONOMY: 11.7l/100km (combined manual Coupe) to 12.1 (combined manual Touring Roadster)
PRICES: Coupe Touring manual ($62,990)
Coupe Touring auto ($64,990)
Coupe Track manual ($67,990)
Roadster Track manual and Touring auto ($73,990)
1969 The original 240Z makes its debut
1974 Capacity increased from 2.4 litres to 2.6 litres and name changed to 260Z
1975 280Z introduced
1979 280ZX gets a targa roof
1990 300ZX launched
1999 Z concept unveiled in Detroit
2003 350Z goes on sale in Australia
2005 35th anniversary limited edition model
2006 minor upgrade to interior,
exterior and suspension
2009 new Z car planned to arrive
Range and Specs
|Roadster Touring||3.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO||$14,410 – 18,920||2007 Nissan 350Z 2007 Roadster Touring Pricing and Specs|
|Roadster Track||3.5L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$14,960 – 19,690||2007 Nissan 350Z 2007 Roadster Track Pricing and Specs|
|Touring||3.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO||$12,990 – 19,990||2007 Nissan 350Z 2007 Touring Pricing and Specs|
|Track||3.5L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$12,760 – 17,050||2007 Nissan 350Z 2007 Track Pricing and Specs|
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