For 2006, the dramatic Nissan 350Z sports car receives its first comprehensive updating since its introduction in the United States market in August 2002. The changes to the Z, which has sold over 100,000 units in its first three years, include a revised front end appearance, enhanced interior, LED taillights, a new vehicle speed-sensitive power steering system, refined optional navigation system and available RAYS super lightweight 18-inch front/19-inch rear 5-spoke forged alloy wheels (Coupe only.
First introduced as a 2004 model, the 350Z Roadster receives most of the enhancements of the Z Coupe for 2006 (except the forged alloy wheels), making a great open-air sports car even more attractive. The Z Roadster features a power-operated soft top with glass rear window, which transforms from top-up to top-down in about 20 seconds.
Thirty-five years since its first appearance in North America, the high performance ZÂ® sports car returns in 2005 with a special commemorative 35th Anniversary model, along with a number of other enhancements, continuing the ZÂ® heritage of design, performance and value that has remained unchallenged since the original Datsun 240Z was introduced as a 1970 model.
The commemorative model, one of six 350Z Coupe models offered in 2005 (along with three 2005 Nissan 350Z Roadster models), is highlighted by a higher performance version of the ZÂ®’s standard 3.5-liter V6. The engine, which is available only with the 6-speed manual transmission, produces 300 horsepower versus the standard 287-horsepower V6. The 35th Anniversary ZÂ® makes its industry debut at the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas on November 2nd, followed by its first public appearance at the Miami Auto Show in early November.
Nissan Motorsport International - NISMO - specially developed a version of the 350Z to celebrate their win in the Japanese 2004 GT500 Touring Car Championship. It’s called the NISMO 350Z S-tune GT and is a road-going version of the race car. 20 are hand-built every month in Japan and the car driving at Goodwood, specially imported by Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd, is believed to be the only one in the UK. The S-tune has extended front and rear bumpers, side-sills and a rear wing modelled on the GT car. As if that wasn’t enough, NISMO five-spoke 19" wheels, racing stripes and pearlescent white paint will ensure this Nissan gets noticed in the Brooklands paddock.
NISMO had it easy with the Spec V. In stock form, the fastest of the Sentras is far from its potential and NISMO, as we saw in last month’s test, can work wonders with that scenario. Things aren’t so easy in the land of Z. The 350Z, though certainly not at the limit of its chassis’ capabilities, leaves relatively little on the table in stock form.