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Driven: Nissan 350Z Nismo S-Tune GT Review

Driven: Nissan 350Z Nismo S-Tune GT Review

Here is the first drive review of the Nissan 350Z Nismo S-Tune GT after Motor Verso were given the opportunity to test out the car on a range of test roads at Millbrook Proving Ground.

What is the Nissan 350Z Nismo S-Tune GT all about?

The Nissan 350Z Nismo S-Tune GT was built to mark the twentieth year of the Nissan motorsport division and to celebrate the success of the 350Z GT500 touring car winning the Japanese touring car championship.

The 350Z S-Tune GT is based on the standard 350Z but has been fairly heavily tuned. The engine now creates 298bhp, has lowered suspension by 20mm, 19-inch 5 spoke alloy wheels and a new body kit to mimic the racing car, which has been finished in pearlescent white. It’s fair to say that the car does stick out on the street, but you will be lucky to spot one in the UK as since its creation in 2005 it has only been sold in Japan.

The GT is powered by a 3.5-litre v6 petrol engine that creates 298bhp and 363Nm of torque, this power goes through a 6-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels. The car can get from 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds and will do an electrically limited top speed of 155mph.

How does it drive?

The Nissan 350Z Nismo S-Tune GT has lots of race car similarities that you can see from the moment you first move off in the car. We know that the car has been heavily modified, and the transformation to the driving experience is unreal.

Driving the GT gives a very raw experience. The clutch is extremely heavy, far from anything you would experience in a road car, the steering is also heavy and the gear shift is very tight. This helps with giving the driver uncensored feedback via the controls. The way that this changes the driving experience is overwhelming, the car genuinely feels like a race car, which further changes the style in which you drive it.

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What is it like inside?

Inside the 350Z it is no different from the standard model, expect from a pair of extremely supportive race style seats, complete with Nismo logos which do help make the car feel a bit more special.

Being a decade old, there is little to shout about on the interior by modern day standards, but the car still has the essentials needed to drive, which is all we care about for now.

The Experience

The experience that the Nissan 350Z Nismo S-Tune GT provides is legendary, you feel every mechanical movement via the controls. You need to put a lot of effort in on the steering wheel and peddles to get the most from the car, but it feels so rewarding whilst doing so, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Verdict

The Nissan 350Z Nismo S-Tune GT is a very rare breed in the UK, and in Japan the car is considered legendary. It is definitely the version of the 350Z to own. The S-Tune GT has authentic taste of Japanese tuning, and it is built in small numbers with attention to detail and using top quality components; the S-Tune appeals to the die-hard Nissan fans after that race car feel. With the standard 350z being so well catered for in the aftermarket, the S-Tune GT would be a great base for a turbocharged street or track build.

Video Highlights

Specification

Nissan 350Z Nismo

  • Price: £ 50,000
  • Engine: 3.5-litre V6
  • Power: 298bhp
  • Torque: 363Nm
  • Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
  • 0-62mph: 5.8 Seconds
  • Top speed: 155mph
  • Weight: 1,575kg

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Nissan 350Z

Nissan 350Z

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Years Active

The Nissan 350Z (known as the Fairlady Z in Japan) is a Japanese sports car built by Nissan. The model first appeared as the Nissan Z Concept in Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec and returned in every main game after. It has been featured in both its domestic Fairlady Z and international 350Z monikers across the series.

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Overview [ ]

The Nissan Fairlady Z/Roadster was sold as the 350Z/Roadster outside Japan.

The 2001 Detroit Motor Show saw the rebirth of Nissan’s Z sports car after a five year hiatus. Under the leadership of company president Carlos Ghosn, it was totally recreated, coming with a price tag under $30,000.

The Z33 Fairlady Z was a 2-seater that utilized Nissan’s new FM platform that provided the foundation for the V35 Skyline sedan (Infiniti G35). Under the hood was the company’s trusted VQ35DE, also the same as the Skyline. It was a 3.5-liter DOHC V6, and in the Z’s case, produced 276 HP and 267.6 lb-ft of torque. The transmission of choice was the 6-speed manual.

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Sharing components with the Skyline worked in favor for the Z because it brought overall cost down. In Japan, there were a number of trim levels offered: The base model, which came with Brembo brakes, the S version that sported 18-in. wheels, the T version with a 5-speed automatic, and the ST, which presented the most luxurious version of the group.

The following year saw the introduction of a convertible version. At the same time, the coupe underbody was upgraded and ran even smoother. Things got more interesting with the 35th anniversary model that upped the V6’s power to 296 HP. In collaboration with Gran Turismo 4, a limited edition model also appeared on the scene in Europe.

Background [ ]

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 designer Yoshihiko Matsuo, who compared it to the Bluebird and Leopard.

The 240Z Concept was produced for the Detroit Motor Show for August of 1999. Nissan was unhappy with the first design as they felt the original 2.4-litre KA24DE engine producing 200 BHP (149 kW; 203 PS) made the car feel underpowered. It was also considered too «retro» or too «backward», resembling a futuristic 240Z; thus, a redesign was commissioned. During a press conference in February 2000, president Carlos Ghosn announced plans to produce the car as he felt the new model would help to assist the company’s recovery.

The 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 3.5-litre VQ35DE V6 engine, hence becoming the 350Z.

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This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Nissan 350Z. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Gran Turismo Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

In Gran Turismo [ ]

Several variants of the 350Z appear from GT3 onwards:

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Nissan Nismo 350Z S-tune

There’s a simple reason that the aerodynamic add-ons and doodads of the Nissan 350Z pictured here look like something out of a Gran Turismo video game.

These bits and pieces, available soon as aftermarket add-ons for your Z, were first designed for the game’s 350Z a year ago. The car seen here is the result of collaboration between Nissan’s motorsports arm, Nismo, and Sony PlayStation. The body pieces and a wide variety of performance upgrades will be for sale worldwide through Nismo.

Mr. Gran Turismo himself, Kazunori Yamauchi, is responsible for the design of this set of body parts. The rear wing, the rear underbody spoiler, the chin spoiler, the side skirts, and the stickers give the already cool-looking Z an extra dose of aggression—or boy-racer filigree, depending on your aesthetic sense. Either way, the pieces fit beautifully.

But although it’s the add-on body parts that stand out, Nismo’s underbody modifications are what really matter.

In tweaking the Z, Nismo added its own specially developed S-tune suspension system ($1500 in Japan) that incorporates stiffer springs, bushings, and stabilizer bars. The ride is certainly stiffer than that of the already firm 350Z. If you live in a land of well-maintained roads, it’s not unpleasantly harsh. And this setup vastly improves turn-in response, reduces body roll, and does away with the understeer that plagues the stock Z.

Also on the S-tune test car we drove in Japan is a new exhaust system. Priced at $1500 in Japan (expect similar prices in overseas markets), the resulting exhaust note is throatier and more metallic. Nismo says the exhaust adds 10 hp.

Other Nismo optional additions include a freer-flowing air filter, an engine oil cooler, and a power-steering oil cooler.

Special S-tune brake pads were also fitted to our test car and further enhance the four-pot Brembo brake package by delivering an extra amount of bite in the initial stages of pedal travel.

Inside, the S-tune gets a sassy Nismo speedometer and a Nismo shift knob.

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