Nissan 350Z 2005 review
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But special badges won't be part of the 350Z birthday party.
The limited run 35th Anniversary model joins the Nissan 350Z stable for a year, offering more revs and a significant increase in power.
Based on the Track version, the sportscar's 3.5-litre V6 has been boosted to 221kW (up from 206kW in the standard 350Z Track) and is manual-only with a revised close-ratio six-speed gearbox.
Marking the launch of the original Nissan 240Z in 1970, there's also a collector's edition three-layered colour called Ultra Yellow, as well as black and gunmetal.
Apart from the yellow there won't, however, be any way to pick the special from a standard 350Z Track.
"The bottom line is when you have a package like this you don't need to badge it over and above the car," says Nissan Australia manager of product marketing Michael Hayes. "The car stands on its own merits."
Nissan's target is to sell 50 of the limited cars a month, and supply shouldn't be an issue.
According to Hayes the 35th Anniversary edition makes the 350Z easily the most powerful two-seater coupe on sale in Australia in its price range. The "two-seater" qualification, however, deliberately excludes the Monaro.
"Nothing really comes close (to the 35th Anniversary model)," he says. "The Chrysler Crossfire has 160kW, the BMW Z4 is at 170, Honda S2000 at 176kW, Audi Quattro TT at 184kW, so the 350Z Touring, Track and Roadster already lead the pack. At 221kW nothing touches this car.
"Monaro is a V8, locally-built and a four-seater. We don't see it as a direct competitor, as good a car as it is."
The 35th Anniversary comes with black leather seats only and has the usual Track goodies such as spoilers, diffusers and Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC).
The rest of the 350Z range has also received its first full upgrade.
Heated leather seats are standard. The five-speed automatic gearbox now has Downshift Rev Matching (DRM) for quicker smoother gear changes
The Roadster and Track have
Brembo performance brakes and the Roadster picks up VDC.
On the road
THE 35th Anniversary model adds extra spice to a car that's already as good as anything in its class.
Yet it's almost impossible to pick the difference between the regular 206kW 350Z engine and the more powerful 221kW engine in the 35th Anniversary at road legal speeds.
For owners who intend to race their 350Zs or time them at track days, the redline of 7000 revs (up from 6600 revs) might come into play.
There is actually marginally less torque, down 10Nm.
None of this is bad news. When you get into mountain roads that have heaps of bends, the 350Z remains as much fun as ever.
Cornering grip and balance are excellent and launch out of the corners exhilarating. The engine is a gem at the top end of the rev range.
Though the 350Z and the 35th Anniversary model are stunningly good, they're not subtle. If you're looking for a purpose-built sportscar, great. But in day-to-day mode it is compromised.
The suspension is friendly enough but becomes harsh on bumps.
The interior is functional and efficient. For Zed fans though, that's irrelevant, the spartan ambience only adds to the true sportscar feel.
Outside there's nothing to pick the Anniversary from the less powerful Track except for the beefy five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels.
It adds up to slightly better 350Z experience, making the $67,990 price worth it.
But collectability is all about having something that marks a car as different and special. That's why the Yellow should be most buyers' pick.
Range and Specs
|Roadster||3.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO||$7,700 – 11,990||2005 Nissan 350Z 2005 Roadster Pricing and Specs|
|Roadster Touring||3.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO||$8,400 – 12,980||2005 Nissan 350Z 2005 Roadster Touring Pricing and Specs|
|Roadster Track||3.5L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$8,400 – 12,980||2005 Nissan 350Z 2005 Roadster Track Pricing and Specs|
|35th Anniversary||3.5L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$7,700 – 11,990||2005 Nissan 350Z 2005 35th Anniversary Pricing and Specs|
Lowest price, based on third party pricing data