Nissan 350Z

The Nissan 350Z is the fifth generation of Nissan’s Z sports car. The original Z dates back to 1970, when it was released under Datsun and deemed the 240Z. The release of the Nissan 240Z was a special milestone in Japanese motoring history as it was one of the first sports cars to compete with the European styling and American muscle that was prevalent at the time. The 240Z performed well as an import in foreign markets due to its relatively low price. As a result, the 240Z opened the floodgates for an onslaught of Japanese performance imports and many imported sports cars seen on the road today.

More on the Nissan 350Z
Nissan 350Z Origins

In the 30 years that followed, the original Z went through many transformations and upgrades. The Datsun brand was absorbed into Nissan just in time for the 260Z model to be released. The 280Z, 280ZX, 300ZX, and the 300ZX Twin Turbo subsequently followed this model. All past models were available with a single turbocharger and naturally aspirated variations.

In 1996, Nissan decided to discontinue production of the Z range despite its success in motorsport. It released the last 300Z ""Commemorative Edition"" units with no intention to revive the legacy. In 2003, however, the Z series was revived in an entirely new model: the 350Z. Many believe its reintroduction was the result of the boom in the aftermarket industry and a restored interest in the modified car scene. The 350Z was designed to meet the demand for a customizable high-performance vehicle.

Nissan 350Z Features

The Nissan 350Z will forever be known as the high-end sports car that satisfied the global market’s demand for a modern Japanese hero. Before its reintroduction, motoring enthusiasts were forced to recycle imports such as the Nissan Silvia, Nissan Skyline, and other Japanese sports cars. Engine swaps and heavy modifications became normal practice in many circles in the quest for higher horsepower. Aftermarket vehicle modification became a multi-billion dollar industry during the early 2000s, so when the 350Z was released it achieved impressive sales figures in all foreign markets.

Although the Nissan 350Z exceeded all performance based tests and reviews, the modern design was the aspect of the car that captured the attention of automobile enthusiasts. The market demanded cutting-edge and contemporary design, and the 350Z seemed to meet this demand better than any other vehicle at its time of release.

The 350Z received many awards and designations from motor publications soon after its release, such as Editor’s Choice, Car of the Year, and Best Overall Design. During its six-year reign, the 350Z appeared to have the motoring world at its mercy. Only a few criticisms were made on the low quality of its interior panels and other cheaply made pieces. However, it is the lower quality of these features that helped keep the 350Z’s price at a modest $30,000.

The 350Z would then go on to become the people’s choice in sport luxury and epitomized the image of success. It received positive reviews in the press and was featured in many video games and feature films like the ""Fast & Furious."" The model was used for toys and other figures to depict the modern sport coupe.

About the Nissan 350Z

The different trim packages offered for the 350Z are mainly focused on various exterior and interior enhancements. Until 2006, all trim levels were powered by Nissan’s new VQ35DE, a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 engine that topped 287 hp. The 2007 and 2008 models were given a refined engine, called the VQ35HR that had a total output of 306 hp.

A coil over suspension on all four wheels is a standard feature on the Nissan 350Z. With the exception of the base model, all trim levels saw the addition of an anti-roll bar and strut braces. The vented disc brakes are oversized, even given the power it has to bare. 18-inch alloy wheels are also a standard feature on all sub models. Many luxury options are also available, such as traction control and dual front airbags. Other optional upgrades include side airbags and exterior add-ons such as side skirts, a front lip, a rear spoiler, and bonnet vents.

Nissan 350Z Evolution

Upon the first release of the Nissan 350Z in the U.S. in 2003, five trim levels were available to buyers. The lowest option was the Base, but customers could upgrade to Enthusiast, Performance, Touring, and Track versions. It was in 2004 when the 350Z Roadster was available to the U.S. market, featuring a retractable softtop.

In 2005, a special 35th Anniversary Edition 350Z was manufactured to commemorate the debut of its earliest ancestor, the Datsun 240Z. Unique color options became available, such as Ultra Yellow and Super Black. The interior design followed suit with a new two-tone trim. A seven-speaker Bose sound system was one of the features that enticed enthusiasts to upgrade from its earlier models. The engine was also upgraded to output 300 hp while a six-speed manual transmission came standard.

It wasn’t until 2006 when the 350Z was given a notable face-lift with new bi-xenon headlights, rear LED lights as well as a raised bonnet. The VQ35DE wasn’t replaced with the VQ35HR until 2007. Inside, the seats were given a new stylized trim and MP3 CD compatibility was offered in the GT model.

Select a Nissan 350Z Year

2009 Nissan 350Z

Convertible, Sports

The 2009 Nissan 350Z enjoys its reputation as a speed vehicle with the power to go with it.

2008 Nissan 350Z

Convertible, Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

Debuting in 2003, the 2008 Nissan 350Z continue to offer plenty of performance and sports appeal for a reasonable price.

2007 Nissan 350Z

Convertible, Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The 2007 Nissan 350Z provides an affordable sports car that comes in five trim levels: the Base, Enthusiast, Touring, Grand Touring, and NISMO.

2006 Nissan 350Z

Convertible, Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The 2006 Nissan 350Z is built on the front midship, which means that the engine sits behind the front wheels, while most front-engine cars have the engine located in the front of the car.

2005 Nissan 350Z

Convertible, Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

Nissan celebrates 35 years of churning out models of its Z cars with the release of the 2005 Nissan 350Z.

2004 Nissan 350Z

Convertible, Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The 2004 Nissan 350Z boasts a powerful engine and all the bells and whistles expected from a quality sports coupe.

2003 Nissan 350Z

Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

With its 287-horsepower engine, this rear-drive, two-seater ranks on Car and Driver magazine’s Top Ten.