Nissan 350Z

On 17 March at 3.50pm Nissan GB’s dealers will start taking orders for the Nissan 350Z. Customers will be able to take delivery from 1 October but only 450 are likely to be so lucky in 2003. Demand is therefore expected to be huge. Especially as over 4,000 Z fans in the UK have so far registered with Nissan as being interested in buying one.

There’ll be two models, the standard Nissan 350Z priced at £24,000 and the 350Z ‘GT Pack’ at £26,500. Both share the same pure, sports car formula i.e. seats only for two, rear-wheel drive, dramatic styling and equally dramatic performance from a front-mounted, 3.5-litre V6 engine pumping out around 280PS. Acceleration to 62mph will take less than six seconds.

The Nissan 350Z was designed to appeal to car enthusiasts the world over but there have been developments specifically to tune it for Europe’s demanding roads and drivers. The radiator, for example, is larger because our average speeds are higher and journey times are longer, and so consequently is the fuel tank. Powerful, race-developed Brembo brakes are standard on all 350Zs sold in Europe, as are xenon headlights with a wash function – again because our driving needs and the car’s performance demand them. Externally, our 350Z has 18 inch alloy wheels and a body kit comprising a front air dam, rear spoiler and rear diffuser which reduces the drag co-efficient to 0.29 and ensures zero lift at speed. And we have the added security of standard ESP (electronic stability programme) as well as twin front, side and curtain airbags.

Because Nissan expects owners will be spending a lot of time in the 350Z’s low slung driving position – you won’t want to get out – a lot of convenience spec has been included. There’s electronic climate control fitted to keep the driver cool if the excitement gets a bit too much. Plus Nissan has included an integrated, hands-free mobile phone system and a trip computer to ease the boredom and frustration of being in a 350Z that’s stuck in traffic. Alternatively, the standard model has a 160W radio and in-dash 6CD autochanger but Nissan suspects most drivers will prefer to play with the 280PS, naturally aspirated V6 engine. Even on idle. With an exhaust note specially tuned for maximum aural pleasure, the 350Z’s throttle demands to be blipped.

continues... | Part Two

Published : 11/03/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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