GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

Nissan 350Z

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blue_350z.jpeg

SPEX

Year: 2003
Host: GT4 & GT5

Class: Sports Car
Type: 2-door coupe or roadster
Country: Japan

Price: $33,000 (2003 coupe, GT4), $32,584 (same car, GT5)

GT5 Mileage: 1,574.3

Construction: unit steel, aluminum hood

Length: 169.4" // Width: 71.5" // Height: 52.0"
Wheelbase: 104.3"
Overhang: 5 feet 5 inches
Track: 60.4 [F] 60.8 [R]
Ground Clearance: 4.7"
Weight: 2,909 pounds
Steering: power-assist rack & pinion
Radius: 36 feet 9 inches
Layout: front-mid engine / rear-drive
Tires: 225/45R-18 [F] 245/45R-18 [R]
Suspension: multilink, coils, shocks, anti-roll bars
Brakes: vented discs

Engine: 3.5 liter DOHC V6
Construction: aluminum block & heads
Aspiration: normal
Fuel Syst: sequential multi-point fuel-injection
Valves / Cyl: 4 
Bore x Stroke: 3.76 x 3.20"
Compression: 10.3:1

```````````````````````````````GT4```````````````````````````````GT5```````
Starting BHP:  282 @ 6,200 rpm           282 @ 6,000
Start Torque: 267.83 @ 4,800 rpm        276 @ 5,000
 
Credits per HP: $117.02                           $115.53
Pounds per HP: 10.31                                10.31
Pnds per Torque: 10.85                             10.89
Hp per Liter:        80.6                               80.6    
 
Idle: 750 // Redline: 6,650 // RPM Limit: 7,000 

Transmission: 6-speed manual
Differential: viscous limited-slip
R/L TCS? yes
R/L ASM? no

`````````````````````GT4``````````````````````````````````GT5````
0-60 mph: 5.500 seconds                  5.575 secs
0-100 mph: 12.783 seconds              12.585
0-150 mph: @ 34 seconds                35.166
 
400 M:   13.895 @ 105 mph           13.932 @ 105
1 Kilom: 25.091 @ 136 mph          24.932 @ 135

1 Mile:      no test                         34.427 @ 149

Test Track Lap: no test                   56.108 (Daytona)
100-zero mph: 3.75 seconds            4.916

Top Gear RPM @ 60 mph: 2,100

Top Speed at Redline
1st: 31 mph
2nd: 61 mph
3rd: 86 mph
4th: 111 mph
5th: 147 mph
6th: 172.87 mph @ 6,250 rpm (GT4)
       172.0x mph @ 6,250 rpm (GT5)

yellow_350z.jpg

------------------EXTERIOR / HISTORY---------------


Good morning class. I am your substitute teacher for the day, Dr. Parnelli Bones. I understand this is English Literature 201, and you've been studying the works of Shakespeare, but unfortunately your regular teacher is out sick. So it's my class today, and I'm afraid we're going to do a bit of.... regressing. Any questions? Good, let's begin.

So today, we shall discuss the letter Z. As the final letter of the English alphabet, Z has a quotient of possibilities not shared by other letters. A loner seemingly content to follow at all times. I'm sorry, was there a question? Yes, you up front?

Class Pet (somewhat snooty): Um, what's a quotient of possibilities, and what has it got to with the letter Z? And, like, what does any of this have to do with our syllabus? Mrs. McFarndud has been leading us through Taming of the Shrew. Petruchio was just about to learn the fate of his lover. You're talking about stuff we learned back in Kindergarten!

Dr. Parnelli: Hmmm. How should I know what sort of sludge Miss McFuddleduddle has been leading you guys thru? How about we keep the trap shut, zone out, so I can collect my day's compensation, eh? Any other questions? Okay. Where was I? Oh yea, talking about the letter Z.

Z doesn't mind being last, apparently. Z is a bit of an oddball. W, for instance, is also an odd letter, but in somewhat different ways. W is the only English letter with more than one syllable, for instance. It also looks kinda funny, as does the letter Z. The difference between W and Z, however, is that the letter W gets a heck of alot more action. It gets to play a larger part for a host of common words. It gets to start alot of pronouns, for instance. We have: what, which, where, why, who, and when. But Z takes the cake over W. Z doesn't picked as often, and when it does, it's usually for some weirdo word like 'zoology' or 'zebra'. Frazzled. Words that are used for weird (rather than common) situations, places, and things. 

Z is almost as odd as the letter Q. What other letter gets followed by a 'U' so often? Matter of fact, it can be said the letter Q is completely unnecessary, since it's possible to use the letters 'K and W' to make the same sound Q makes. *goes to chalkboard to scribble* We could spell the word queen with a K and a W, making it kween. Same difference, really. Q is a letter that simply exists because it looks kinda cool.

So which one is weirder, class? Q or Z? Both of them command a minimum of ten points when laid properly during a game of Scrabble, which is saying something I suppose. Yes, sir, you in the back....

Class Clown: Yo teach. I gotta pain in my neck and its last name is 'Bone'. May I be excused?

Dr. Parnelli: No.

Class Clown: Can I go on Twitter, then? I gotta send some tweets.

*laughter*

Dr. Parnelli: No.

Class Clown: But Miss McFardud lets us tweet!

Dr. Parnelli: No. No no no. No 'tweeting' during my seminar. Do not interrupt me again or I'll have you all for detention.

Class Clown 2: Detention?!!!? You can't do that! You're just a sub!

Dr. Parnelli: I'm a 'sub' that's gonna have you all sit here after school while your friends are off to Burger Palace and "Forever 21" and GameStop. Try me.

Cool jock kid everyone looks up to (diplomatically): Hey, I got something that starts with the letter 'Z'. How about the Z-car? Nissan's Z-car?

Dr. Parnelli: Hmmm, the Z-car! What a nice segue into some brighter discussion kids, and right on topic, too. It so happens I have a degree in ...uh...automotive literature. I happen to know quite a bit about the Z-car. Let's discuss.

It's been around for quite some time, since the early '70s, matter of fact. The latest version of the Z (this would now be Nissan's Z33 generation) keeps the tradition going, but does it manage to do so as success-fully?  Is it an oddball, just like the letter Z? *class laughs* These questions and more shall be answered during today's discussion. Anyways, here's how it all started.

In the year 2000, Nissan seemed finally to be done with the Z-car. This would have been the Z32 generation. This latest incarnation (the 300ZX) had strayed a lot from Nissan's original: the 240Z. Started off as a light-weight, economical, no-frills sports car way back when; yet now it was a much heavier, semi-luxurious, gas-guzzling bohemoth. A Grand Tourer in which most buyers "grand toured" their way to ease the trasition from youth to middle-age. It's true racing versions of the 300ZX did plenty of damage in the world of IMSA, winning lots and lots and lots, but pedestrian versions of the same car strived just as hard to pander as they did to please the driver with horsepower. Nissan set out to change some of this.

In 1996, Z32 production halted outside of Japan, though it was still produced in Japan for another four years. This probably had something to do with the saga of the 240Z Concept.

Conceived in America, the 240Z Concept started with a look to the past. It may seem strange that here we have a Japanese automobile being drawn-up overseas, but remember, America had alot to do with the original Z-car's popularity. The 'father of the Z-car', Mr. Yutaka Katayama, otherwise known as 'Mr. K', spent lots of time in California back in the original Z-car's heyday. So perhaps Nissan's North American division was looking to re-create this magic. They also (perhaps) caught wind of what Volkswagen were up to, which would have been to bring back the Beetle, complete with a retro look, but it's hard to say for sure. Yes? A question?

Goody 2-shoes Princess-type: This class lecture sucks, Mr. Bones. You're like the worst teacher I ever had.

Dr. Parnelli: Oh really? Guess what? I'm not even a teacher! Don't tell anyone, but your beloved English Lit maven has quit. "Gone to Tahiti" after an offshore money sort of deal fell through. Naw, just kidding. She's really out sick! So I'm sorry there, Miss Prissy Pants, but you're with me now, as the late Jim Morrison used to say. It's my class, and I'm talking about whatever I wanna talk about. Which is NOT going to be Taming of the Shrew.

Class Clown: Is there gonna be a quiz on this stuff?

Dr. Parnelli: We'll see. Perhaps. Pay attention. *groan from class*

Anyways, it was looking like the 240Z Concept might make it to production, but there were problems. This car got mixed messages within the Nissan hierarchy. It didn't look much like the original Z-car, for instance, which didn't help its mission. In contradiction to this fact, it was also described as "too retro" by some higher-ups (guess those higher-ups didn't think VW's New Beetle had a future!). I've seen pictures of the 240Z online. It's not a bad-looking car. But apparently some folks at Nissan didn't think this was the right direction to go. Here's a link going to the 240Z Concept by the way:

http://www.diseno-art.com/encyclopedia/concept_cars/datsun_240z_concept.html

Anyways, new designs were drawn up after the Concept's cancellation, and eventually we wound up with the Z33 generation. Some of Nissan's newer goals were now intact. The Z33 would be less expensive than the Z32. It would be more about performance, less about luxury and accomodations. It would also become a better seller. Towards the end of the 300ZX / Fairlady's reign (in the mid '90s), Z32 sales started sagging for several reasons. *goes to chalkboard*

1). Its look was aging.

2).  Its performance could be bettered by a slew of cars from other manufacturers, even America's Corvette and some versions of Mustang!

3). It was rather pricey, and...

4). Sports car sales were (overall) on the decline, as SUV and truck sales shot out the roof. Lots of folks lulled away from performance cars for various reasons....


....I don't want to get too far off topic, class. Suffice it to say, the Z33 generation started Nissan off with a much-needed bang into the New Millenium, and remains a stronger seller today. Let's have some opinions.

Nerdy Kid (somewhat nervous): I don't like them. I think they're ugly. I think they lend a sense of pretentiousness via their overall bland, mitricopian shape. Pontificating a stature shared by the previous Z generation of automobiles, rather than truely distinguishing themselves with a daring new approach.

Dr. Parnelli: Yes. That's it. I totally concur, kid. Mind if I call you 'kid'?

Nerdy kid: Um....

Dr. Parnelli: Okay, kid. Totally agree. The Z33 generation...how shall I say? I don't find it very impressive-looking, or as you said: it "pontificates a stature shared by the previous generation of Z-cars". Something like that. Whatever the hell you just said. Totally agree.

Unlike the earliest Z-cars, the Z33 generation (to me) looks like somebody took a lump of clay, stuck some wheels under it, cut a hole in the front and voilą! Rather souless. Not a very interesting-looking design in my opinion. Nothing like the original Z, which had a long hood followed by a short cabin area, swept off grandly as a fastback with a functional rear hatch. All accentuated with tasteful bits of trim here and there. Overall, the original Z looked cuter, too. In comparison, the 350Z of today's lecture simply looks dull. Hasn't even got a distinguishable set of bumpers! It's an aerodynamic shape, true, functional, yet has 0% personality. Any car-manufacturer could have created such a boring design. Sorry to say. That's how I feel.

Class Clown: That's wack, dude.

Dr. Parnelli (ignoring comment): But truthfully, that's one of the only criticisms I've got. I don't like the way it looks. I do like its price, however. And I do like its weight. 

The 350Z first appeared in a videogame you may have heard of class, called Gran Turismo 4. As it appears in this game, it weighs-in at 2,909 pounds, which is completely fabricated; nowhere near the real-life car's weight, which runs anywhere from 3,150 to 3,350 pounds, depending on the car's level of design. There are some models which are roadsters, for instance, wheras others are made with truer performance in mind. I had one of my virtual drivers in GT5 do the Tuning Car Grand Prix, and for this event I lightened his car all the way down to 2,420 pounds. Heh heh..."420" is in there. Anybody here know why those numbers are important?  

Stoner Student: Yeaaah Mr. Bone, I know this one! 

Dr. Parnelli: Yeeeah um ... maybe we'd better just leave that subject alone. I'm already in enough trouble with the PTA as it is.

Nissan has been doing the right thing, offering a slew of different variations of the 350Z, many of which appear in Gran Turismo 4. There's the base model. There are a couple racing versions. A concept Z33. A roadster. And so on.

Any questions? 

 

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---------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN-------------

Nerdy kid again: Um yeah, I got a question. If you're, like, a gazillion years old, what are you doing still playing video games? 

Dr. Parnelli Bones: Kid you just love taking potshots at the teacher, don't you? Do you know what it's like to stand up here in front of all of you? Tossing and turning all night in anticipation of playing 'teacher for a day?' HUh?

Nerdy kid: But you said yourself: you're not even a teacher! We want Mrs. McFubble back!

Dr. Pernalli Bones: Now now, don't be so hasty. We still have a few things to discuss and 30 minutes to go before the bell rings.

As I was saying. I don't much like the looks of the 350Z, but I DO like its power. Does anyone know what horsepower is? Anyone? Buuuueller? ;-)

One thing Nissan didn't slack off with was available power. The base 350Z in GT4 or GT5, for instance, starts with 282 BHP @ 6,200 rpms, which is caused from 267 foot-pounds of torque at 4,800. That's not the strongest production motor ever; matter of fact, Nissan's current GT-R starts with a lot more than this. But it's pretty good. Good enough to get us going for lots of racing in the game, even before the rest of the car is touched.
 
The earlier Z32 generation made this sort of power too, but only if it had the twin turbocharged engine in place. It's important to note that Nissan's 3.5 liter is naturally-aspirated in comparison, yet still makes the numbers.

Efficient this powerplant is. This 3.5 liter dual-overhead cam V6 reminds me a lot of the engines found in Acura's NSX models, which were also naturally-aspirated rather than turbocharged. Very efficient. A CVTCS valvetrain (which stands for Constant Variable Timing Control System) keeps the engine from being too peaky; torque rolls from about 4,000 rpms in a very smooth fashion. It all works very well, and the car's rear 245-width tires keep traction coming so it gets plenty of launches with minimal wheelspin. That isn't to say wheelspin never happens. One must be touchy with the throttle or it certainly does show up, especially in 1st gear...

Princessy Preppy Girl (near tears): What the hell are you talking about??? I want to go home!

Dr. Parnelli: Fine. Go! See if I care! Here, have a pink slip! That's right, now you're in trouble! See you after class, missy!

Alright now everybody SHUT UP. This next part is important. Pay attention.

There are power upgrades, of course. NISMO parts sells three NA (which means naturally-aspirated) kits and a supercharger, in either GT4 or GT5. Various aftermarket tuning houses in the fourth edition also sell a Stage 5 turbo system for the base 350Z, but oddly won't sell us any other turbo kits. At best, class (goes to chalkboard), we have 478 horsepower and 424 foot-pounds in GT4 with the Stage 3 NA kit, or 479 and 536 with the supercharger. GT5's kits are as follows:

              horsepower                 torque
Stage 1: 410 @ 6,700               348 @ 5,700
Stage 2: 440 @ 6,800               368 @ 5,800
Stage 3:

Suprchgr:  

Plenty of racing can be accomplished with this power: from the FR Challenge races to the NA and Turbo Challenges. From the Clubman to the All Japan GT. Professional Hall to Endurance Hall. And so on. The 350Z gets plenty of action in GT4. Unfortunately in 5 (which is a much easier game), this car won't genuinely be needed, class, until the Extreme Series. This is a fault of the game itself. If you enter this car in the Clubman Cup, for instance, it'll simply walk over the crowd, completely stock.  

*class clown now snoring*

Anyways, we have power, which is good. But ultimately some may find themselves wanting more. For those situations which the baser dealer-bought 350Zs can't handle, here the 350Z Concept LM and Motul Pitwork Z step in in GT4. GT5 has dozens of tuner Z33s to find as well. But it still kinda sucks, eventually, the lack of power that is. Would be nice to see dealer-bought Z33ss get more power, the way the earlier 300ZX Twin Turbo could.


*Frazzled*
.     

Uh...where was I? Well, it's a smooth V6. Efficient. I've driven lots of virtual cars, folks; some of them don't feel quite so polished with the way they deliver, trust me! For this reason, the 350Z V6 doesn't really get my blood boiling. It also sounds rather tame. Some aftermarket exhausts cure this to some extent, but suffice it to say the 350Z doesn't sound as exciting as an Integra or an STi, at least in my game. 

Jock Kid: STis are cool! STis are rad!

Dr. Parnelli: Yes. Um, they are...um...'rad', as you call it. In comparison, the 350Z falls a bit short. In my opinion.

The engine has a 6-speed manual gearbox (while stock), which is perfect for lots of racing and driving. Altogether, the 350Z puts down some serious numbers: zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, the quarter-mile in 13.9, both of which are respectably close to real-life figures. The real-life car has a heavy-duty clutch and carbon fiber driveshaft, even while stock. Top Speed around Gran Turismo 4's Test Course is just under 173 mph, completely stock! All very acceptable when compared to many other modern sports vehicles.

Everyone has their opinion, of course. Mine is justifiably short. I, for whatever reason just can't get past the car's sound. Even though it's fast, it is just a tad dull with its fastness. 

What about its...fastidiousness? *smiles smugly*      
 
 

---------------CHASSIS / HANDLING---------------

Now we come to Part III of today's lecture, class: Handling. *writes on chalkboard*  Does anybody know what it means when we talk about the way a car "handles" itself?

Punk Kid with pincushion peircings in his face: Uh...that's like how it drives and stuff?

Dr. Parnelli: Precisely. How it "drives and stuff". Not bad. I may have some hope for you dweebs after all.

Unlike Nissan's Z32 generation, which had handling and maneuverability that was a bit problematic at times, Nissan really seems to have done their homework with the Z33. I've been (so far) careful not to praise the 350Z too highly during this lecture. Lots of car-reviewers do just this, praising praising praising. Merely finding fault with the car's cramped interior and less-than-ideal visibility, or something else which has nothing to do with performance. In contrast, so far, I don't like the way the Z33 looks. I don't like its passionless engine, and I don't like the way it sounds, really. But it's hard to find fault here, in the Handling department. I DO like how it handles.

There are so many great things about this car, the 350Z. Brakes are awesome, in either GT4 or GT5. Braking into many turns, the driver often finds him ... or herself ... 'testing the waters' before fully diving-in. In other words, it's possible to brake too strongly in this car, and wind up needing to awkwardly accelerate again before the turn even starts because the car is now approaching too slowly! To avoid this, the driver has the option to start braking with (perhaps) half the force at first, in an effort to see what the car's stopping capability is; and then braking more fully once the turn's turning-in point finally approaches. Remember this when you start driving, kids: some cars require lots of early braking. Not a 350Z.

Bratty Kid (muttering under breath): Some of us already are driving, mister...geeez.

Dr. Parnelli: The 350Z brakes-in with minimal diving (even while stock), minimal understeer, and minimal front-end grasping, yet one can tune it to display any one of these behaviors. This is quite a tuneable car, matter of fact. Release those brakes mid-corner, and the 350Z simply gets neutral. Which means (goes to chalkboard and scribbles again) the front and rear tires are both able to perform a near-equal job at maintaining the car's weight as it leans from side to side. There is almost zero understeer while this is happening, which means the car is staying on-track, gripping into the turn, rather than wanting to force its way off in a straight line. 

There is some understeer, don't get me wrong, but it's easy to avoid. Usually all it requires to eliminate pushing is a momentary release of throttle or brakes. Voilą, the car's front-end digs-in again.

The 300ZX as found in GT4 also displays less-than-average understeer while it's near stock. Feels nicely stable too. The difference is it's not as controllable overall as these newer 350s. Definately not as much of a sports car. The Z32 had a few bad habits: diving and rolling in corners... needing longer moments of damage control on occasion, needing more preparation mid-corner, and so on.

In comparison, the Z33 feels a heck of a lot simpler to control. In Gran Turismo 5, this one comes equipped with Hard Sport tires, which in real-life would never actually happen. Real cars of all types come equipped with radials, class. So that is what I did: had my virtual crew put on some soft-quality radials before going for my first test drive at Nurburgring's GP/F track. Have any of you ever heard Nurburgring? Or its nickname, which is simply 'The Ring?'

*silence*

Well, The Ring is a famous track in Germany. It's a very difficult and 'technical' track, which means it has lots of twists and turns that must be approached and targeted with precision ... or else. Anyways, at this track, I did find that even with these cheap radial tires on the car, understeer was as rare as a three-dollar bill, and when it did show up, there were always things I could do to get rid of it. Zero understeer means lots of precise cornering in this automobile, class, need I explain further.
 
Leaving turns in this game is a bit more difficult than in GT4, since what is known as "oversteer" is more of a reality in GT5. But again, show some throttle restraint, and there's not much to worry about.  

It was only when I was finally racing my 350Z in GT5, racing at the GP/F track, that the car finally started feeling pressured. Sometimes it could manage those hairpins, loops, and super-sharp chicane okay, other times, some real problems started showing up; understeer and occasional fishtailing being most common. Brake an inch too late, or take a turn a little too wide, and finally the 350Z might not be able to handle the sweat.

...But otherwise, this one is always ready to do what you want it to do, even as it's bouncing over bumps, curbs, and other anomalies some cars get upset by. Guess it helps that the Z33 is several hundred pounds lighter than the Z32...

And that's another thing. Weight! Did I already talk about weight and how this affects the car?

*silence greets the teacher*

I forget. Your 'teacher' had an interesting sort of evening last night, which involved a plate of fish, two bottles windex, and a camcorder, folks. Don't ask. So I'm a little fuzzy today. Fuzzy. Another word with some Zs in place! Ha! Anyways, back on topic.

Weight. This is yet another PD screw-up folks! PD stands for Polyphony Digital, the maker of Gran Turismo and a few other video games. Anyways, this mistake with the car's weight certainly helps the Z33's cause, but truthfully these autos are supposed to weigh only slightly less than Z32s. But at 2,909 pounds, a base 350Z's weight feels damn-near perfect, folks.

Prissy Girl: Awww, I'm telling! You said a swear-word!

Dr. Parnelli: HUH?!?

Priss: You said the 'D' word. Unless you're talking about beavers, it's a swear-word! And I'm telling! And you're in big trouble mister!

Dr. Parnelli: Ah jeez. The things I do to keep up with child support! *smacks head* I need to someday find me a real job. Last time I show up to 'teach' a bunch of smartass brats! Guess this gig ain't as bad as whipping up salads and corned beef hash for the gang at the Harmony House.

Where was I? Damn near perfect. Oh yeah. DAMN DAMN DAMN I SAID DAMN AGAIN FIVE TIMES NOW!!!! So there! Anyways. So it's a Polyphony Digital mistake folks, this lack of poundage, but it makes the 350Z perfect for cornering.

Leaving corners, the car still displays this perfectly neutral behavior I was talking of earlier before being interrupted. *glares at Priss Girl* The 300ZX, for instance, would eventually need some sort of limited-slip device installed, even while power upgrades are still young. Not the 350Z. Matter of fact, I have yet to find myself truley needing to buy a limited-slip device for this car. It never loses its composure out of turns, no matter what the torque being laid to pavement. Only occasional bumpy areas like rumble strips have the ability to cause some trouble. 

Nissan (again) did the right thing, as the Z33 generation already has an effective viscous limited-slip differential installed from the dealership. Even with power upgrades, the 350Z maintains most of its cornering prowess, maneuverability, and poise. It's a cornering devil! Loves to corner. Guess it helps that it doesn't accept anywhere near the power of earlier Z32 generation cars. Learn this if you don't learn anything else today, class; you can't have it all.

Well, that about wraps it up. We have successfully discussed Nissan's latest conquest, as they've long been obsessed with plundering the meaning of the letter "Z". *turns around from chalkboard* And I'm sorry for my lack of temperance class but today I...class? CLASS??? 

*rows of empty seats greet the teacher* :0    

350z_rear.jpg

PROS----------------------------------

1). It's a Z-car. In many ways, it's arguably the best Z-car ever.

2). Great powerplant. Trusty torque. Lots of revs. And plenty of natural horsepower, too. Peak power can be exploited often with no fear of an RPM limit or other such nonsense.

3). Lots of power options from Nismo and others, too. Three NA kits, a supercharger, and a Stage 5 turbo can be had.

4). Compact, balanced handling. Car does what we want it to do 80% of the time. The other 20% when it gets screwy is usually our fault, and can usually be tuned away eventually.

5). Top-quality brakes.

6). Lighter than most modern mass-produced sports cars (thanks to yet another PD error).

7). Aerodynamic shape.

8). 6-speed tranny. 170+ mph can be tapped while stock, yet gearing isn't so tall that acceleration gets hurt. All 6 gears get equal share of the work around the Test Tracks of GT4 or GT5. Stock or close gears can be used for 90% of the racing the average driver will partake of.

9). Oh, yea, that acceleration is sweet. On par with the usual crowd of Corvettes, Supras, TVRs, etc.

10). Affordable. Cheaper than the 300ZX was when it was a new car.

11). Lots of traction.


CONS--------------------------------

1). Bland styling. Each Z-car generation keeps getting blander.

2). GT4: No drifty fun can be had by amateurs, the way the earliest Z-cars offered. (GT5 changed this).

3). Occasional understeer, just when you least expect it.

4). It's fast, yet doesn't feel as passionate about being so as some others. Truer in GT4 than GT5, of course.

5). Generic engine/exhaust note.

6). A bit of a bore to drive after awhile, as this is one of these cars which almost always does what it's told. Surprises are rare. For this reason, it never feels alive. Always feels like a machine.

7). Ultimate power isn't nearly as high as found in others of its class. Even some older 300ZX models can gain hundreds more horses over the 350Z, and can also be equipped with more turbos. This is true in GT4 and GT5.

8). GT5: no turbos. We can get a superchager, though.

9). GT5: oversteer can sometimes be more difficult for some drivers who are used to GT4's safer rear-end physics. Tuning (limited-slip, especially) becomes more necessary in this latter game for this reason.  


Published: February 19, 2010

Edited for GT5 stuff: September 9, 2012, and again in late June of 2013.
  

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