Available now and fitted to the Goodwood NISMO concept are a set of dramatic, five spoke 19" alloy wheels. Yes, you read that right – 19". The front pair are 19" x 8.5J and the rear are even wider at 19" x 9.5J. The price of a set is around £1765 not including VAT or the tyres. Rather more affordable at £40 plus VAT is the NISMO radiator cap that keeps the cooling system pressure at a higher level. This leads to a higher coolant vaporising point that in turn helps to prevent overheating when the car is being thrashed over a sustained period. No price yet on the NISMO suspension kit fitted to Nissan GB’s concept. So for now just admire the menacing, road licking effect.
There have been a few changes to the interior of this car, too. NISMO kick plates, floormats and a titanium gear knob add to the Z’s cabin jewellery. Nissan GB has also thrown in a pair of NISMO sports seats which are even more hip hugging than the originals. They’re upholstered in Alcantara and have a special type of foam in their cushions designed to absorb vibration and shock transmitted up from the tarmac. Just as well given this car’s 19" wheels and even stiffer suspension…
All these parts come from NISMO’s S-tune range which is designed for performance improvements during road driving. NISMO is a new name to Nissan UK’s accessories range. And it’s being applied to the 350Z only. But it’s not so new to anyone who plays ‘GRAN TURISMO’ or drives a Nissan Skyline GT-R. NISsan MOtorsports was established in Japan in 1984 to provide manufacturer backed performance parts for Nissan cars. And the 2004 Goodwood Festival of Speed is the natural event at which to highlight the range in the UK – not least because there will be many fans there who lust after a 350Z.
Prices for the 280PS 350Z start at £24,000. It’ll accelerate to 62 mph in 5.9 seconds and onto a limited top speed of 155 mph. But only two people can climb aboard for the ride. Standard equipment includes xenon headlights, front/side/curtain airbags, a 6CD autochanger, 18" alloy wheels and Brembo brakes. The £2500 GT Pack adds leather upholstered, electrically adjustable and heated seats, a BOSE stereo system and cruise. 18" RAYS alloys that are 4kg lighter than the standard wheel add another £1000. Most customers, 31% in fact, are going for the full house GT Pack with RAYS. Another Z factoid is that the most popular colour is Gun Metal grey with 40% of the vote. And of these, a quarter have the Alezan orange leather interior.
It’s not as if anybody ordering a 350Z now will need the NISMO Aero Kit to stand out from the crowd. There’s still a waiting list and though the 350Z is causing a noise, it’s never going to be around in large volumes. The same goes for another exciting Nissan that the company is showing at Goodwood. It’s called the Murano, it’s the size and measure of a BMW X5 but will cost less than a similarly equipped X3, it’s powered by the same engine as the 350Z, and only around 1000 will be imported into the UK next year. But even rarer is the 265PS Micra R of which there’s only one. And it’s parked firmly on the Nissan stand unlike the 350Z NISMO concept which will be racing daily past Goodwood House. Although it will be going fast, you won’t miss it.Published 25 June 2004