The Nissan 350Z
Nissan can perhaps be proud of only a few series of cars that have had as much of a fan following as the Z series. Right from the 240Z to its successor in 350Z to the 2012 370Z, people have followed and also bought these cars in huge numbers. Throughout 1970s 240Z continued to sell well in both the Japanese and American markets. Demand exceeded production capacity to the point that people had to wait six months to get their orders delivered to them.
Through the 80s and 90s, the series continued to better itself in terms of both luxury and power. In 1990, we saw the debut of the Nissan 300ZX. This too ran well for a couple of years until the sales started to reduce and ultimately hit the rock bottom in 1995 which led to the withdrawal of the 300ZX in 1996.
Almost a decade later, Nissan has the reincarnation of the Z series in the form of the 350Z. And the regular sports car formula was maintained in this too- two seats, front engine with rear wheel ride without too large a size. Production quantity was also taken into consideration and about 30000 units were produced in the first year itself.
The 350Z was made on the Nissan’s newly innovated FM or the “Front midship” technology which involved the engine to be shifted a little on the back end rather than the other front-engine cars available at the time. These cars tend to deflect a lot of weight on the front wheels and as a result cause problems, the Nissan 350Z had a more balanced weight distributed over both the front and rear wheels.
The 2003 Nissan 350Z was launched only as a coupe initially but a roadster was also made available after a little while. Five different trims were made available including the base, Enthusiast, Performance, Touring and Track. The base model contained automatic climate control, ABS with EBD, 17 inch wheels, keyless entry etc. The enthusiast version added cruise and traction controls, auto dimming rearview mirror and high intensity discharge headlights among others. Performance models further added 18 inch wheels and tire pressure monitor. The Track model added front and rear spoilers along with lightweight 18 inch wheels to help out the acceleration. The touring model contained a better audio system with heated leather seats.
Talking about the engine specifically, the Nissan 350Z contained a 3.5 liter V. It delivered 287 HP with 274 lb-ft of torque. Six speed manual transmission was available as a standard though a five speed automatic was also made available to the consumers.
The exteriors and interiors of the Nissan 350Z were both classy and up to the mark. The outside looks were sporty, classy and aptly designed while the interiors were spacious. This coupled with the ample amount of power in the 350Z makes it a vehicle remembered till date. It also made it a commercial success and this saw the fan base of the Nissan Z return back to a good extent.