Sunday, December 26, 2010
The Nissan 350Z is a two seat sports car that was manufactured by Nissan from 2002–2009 and marks the fifth generation (codename: Z33) of Nissan's Z-car line. The 350Z entered production in late 2002 and was sold and marketed as a 2003 model. It was available in several trim packages and is sold as both a coupé and roadster before being succeeded by the 370Z for the 2009 model year.After the Nissan 300ZX was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 1996, Nissan initially tried to keep the Z name alive by re-creating the 240Z the following year. The car was conceived by Nissan's North American design team in their free time, and the concept was introduced in a four state Road Show in July 1998 to various car media, dealers and employees. Yutaka Katayama, regarded as the "Father of the Z" unveiled the Z concept sketch to the public when he received a motor industry award. The design, representing a modern vision of the 240Z, did not please the original 240Z designer Yoshihiko Matsuo, who compared it to the Bluebird and Leopard.Z Concept was unveiled in Detroit Motor Show two years later, which was similar in body shape but with a new front end. The car then underwent a minor redesign and was eventually assigned the VQ35DE engine, hence becoming known as the 350Z.
The 350Z is a front-mid engine rear-wheel-drive two door,two seat, sports car designed by Ajay Panchal of Nissan Design America(San Diego, California).
The vehicle features the long-hood short-deck design common to the Z-Car family. Currently, external design highlights include: sloping fastback style roof line, unique brushed aluminium door handles, high waistline, and bulging fenders that are pushed out to the corners of the vehicle.
Interior cabin design is straight forward with brushed aluminium accents. The main gauge pod is mounted directly to the steering column allowing their movement to coincide with steering wheel adjustments. Additional gauges are mounted in a center triple gauge cluster (similar to the 240Z/260Z/280Z). The 350Z’s interior does not have a conventional glove box, instead it makes use of various storage compartments located either behind or between the 2 seats.
For the 2006 model year, the 350Z received a number of notable changes for its mid-cycle facelift. The 300HP/260TQ Rev-up engine that was introduced mid-year 2005 with 6-speed manual was offered for every trim now. Purchasing a 5-speed automatic meant you still got the VQ35DE with 287HP/274TQ. The headlights now sported larger bi-xenon projectors, the front bumper had been revised, the rear taillights now use LEDs, and interior changes brought differences to the center console, among other small things. Touring and Grand Touring models have radio-steering controls standard, MP3 CD compatibility, and Satellite Radio became an available option. The 5AT transmission also received an update, which made it rev-match for every downshift.
For the 2007 model year, the 350Z was again moderately revised. The VQ35DE V6 was replaced with a new, but still 3.5 L VQ35HR V6. It produced 306 hp (228 kW) at 6800 rpm with 268 ft·lbf (363 N·m) at 4800 rpm. The hood was revised featuring a bulge reminiscent of the original 240Z. In the US, trims levels were narrowed down to 350Z (base), Enthusiast, Touring, and Grand Touring, while in Europe the same trim levels remained.