Inside, the interior mirrors that of the 350Z GT Pack with two charcoal leathered, electrically adjustable and heated seats as well as a thumping, 240 watt BOSE tuned stereo, 6 CD in-dash changer and cruise control. Marking out each UK supplied 350Z GT4 will be a numbered, interior mounted plaque and in the boot, owners will find a gift box from Nissan containing a Sony PS2â and GT4 game. So play can continue at home, obviously.
Despite all the above, the 350Z Gran Turismo 4 is priced at just £1000 more than the 350Z GT Pack with RAYS alloys. And like the two other models in the 350Z range, a NISMO bodykit designed with Gran Turismo developers Polyphony Digital can be added for £2495. That’s painted and fitted.
Gran Turismo 4 is Sony’s second full GT game for PS2 and gets its Europe-wide launch, in mid-March. With this latest release, Polyphony takes a massive stride forward towards its aim of crafting the ‘ultimate racing game’. Topping the innovations of Gran Turismo 4 is a mind-boggling new physics model that allows for the most realistic simulation yet across over 50 different race tracks of the driving characteristics of each car. And there are over 700 to choose from. Only one though has been considered worthy enough by Sony to bear the Gran Turismo 4 name … the Nissan 350Z.
The Nissan 350Z Gran Turismo 4 represents the increasing close relationship between the motor industry and the most realistic driving game on the planet. Kazunori Yamauchi, Gran Turismo’s creator and director of the GT4 game, says: “The release of the Nissan 350Z Gran Turismo 4 is great in the way that the virtual has led to a real product. I am honoured that Nissan has named such an exciting car after my game and I look forward to racing it myself on both real and virtual tracks.”
According to Yamauchi-san, some of the greatest cars featured in Gran Turismo have come from the Nissan stable, not least the Skyline GT-R. The inclusion of Nissans in the game came about after the launch of the original Gran Turismo when a test-driver from Nissan contacted Yamauchi-san and invited him to come and drive a Skyline at Nissan’s track. In the following years, Yamauchi-san and Nissan’s Skyline/350Z test-driver, Hiroyosi Kato became good mates. Kato-san even stars in one of Gran Turismo 4’s in-game movies. And Yamauchi-san has bought not one but two 350Zs because it has, he believes, the ideal layout: a powerful engine up front and rear-wheel drive.
The only time the 350Z Gran Turismo 4 will be shown in the UK before deliveries start in March is at Autosport International in what will be its European debut. As well as seeing the car on Nissan’s stand, visitors will get a preview of the game. And a chance to drive the car … in virtual reality, that is.Published 17 January 2005