After just two years, Nissan has given its 350Z coupe a boost
12 December 2005

Nissan’s hugely successful 350Z coupé and roadster have been given an overhaul, just two years after the hardtop first hit European showrooms.

The changes were necessitated by the conversion of the 350Z’s 3.5-litre ‘VQ’ V6 engine to Euro IV emissions compliance, but Nissan has also taken the opportunity to give the unit a 20bhp power boost to match the 296bhp first seen in the 35th Anniversary edition earlier this year.

A new intake duct helps the engine breathe more easily, and there are new pistons, revised camshaft profile and variable valve control for the exhaust valves. Peak power now arrives 200rpm higher at 6400rpm, and the redline has been extended by 400rpm to 7000rpm.

Performance gains are slim, with 62mph now hit from rest 0.1sec quicker in 5.8sec (6.3sec for the Roadster). Unfortunately peak torque has dropped from 268lb ft to 260lb ft at the same 4800rpm, but Nissan claims that the Z now has a flatter torque curve and less tendency to tail off after that peak.

Chassis changes are restricted to the adoption of speed-dependent power steering to make it more manoeuvrable at parking speeds.

From without, Z car anoraks will spot that there is a new front bumper with a lower grille, deeper scallops ahead of the front wheels and bi-xenon projector headlamps and LED side lights above. There are LED lights for the rear, too, completing the visual tweaks.

Inside Nissan has made an effort to improve the 350Z’s cabin quality with repositioned switchgear and more soft-feel plastics for the dash. Entry-level models get new fabric for the seats, there is more aluminium-look trim and extra storage compartments make for a more practical cabin.

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The Nissan Pathfinder’s excellent DVD-based satellite navigation system is now available as a factory-fitted option and there is now standard Bluetooth phone integration for the coupé.

The revised 350Z goes on sale in April, with prices expected to carry a small premium when they are announced closer to launch.

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