|Nissan 350Z Nismo|
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Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd has developed a 350Z NISMO concept just for the 2004 Goodwood Festival of Speed fitted with racing and styling parts designed by Nissan's mad motorsport arm in Japan. Some of the bits are available now while others could be on sale soon depending on how much of a noise the Z concept makes at the event.
Noise is very much part of the Goodwood experience. And the same goes for the 350Z, too. As if the standard 350Z doesn't sound intoxicating enough (for the car nut, that is), the NISMO sports exhaust fitted to the Goodwood concept gives it an even more spine tingling note. 10.7 cm wide, twin oval tailpipes are the only external sign of an exhaust system developed for even sharper engine response during fast driving. The cost is likely to be around £1000. Assuming it gets through our noise and emissions regulations, that is. Rules can be so dull.
The 350Z made its debut at last year's Goodwood Festival and turned more heads than cars costing 10 times as much. More jaws will drop at the 350Z being entered into the 2004 Supercar Run as it's fitted with the most dramatic visual item in NISMO's range, the Aero Kit developed in conjunction with Polyphony Digital producer of 'GRAN TURISMO'. The images created by the game's development team were translated into production reality by NISMO after being aerodynamically tested. So as well as looking the business, the Aero Kit increases the forces on the front and rear of the car - there's more grip at the front and added traction at the rear.
The standard front bumper is replaced by a deeper one with a low lip spoiler which is colour coded to the vehicle. And an additional louvre in the bumper grille gives the 350Z an even wider and meaner look. Side skirts rectify irregular air stream around the tyres at high speeds. Their function is linked to that of the rear under-skirt and along with the front lip spoiler, make the 350Z look literally sucked to the road. But all of this wouldn't be complete without the high mounted rear spoiler or wing that sits on top of the tailgate below the rear window. An exact price for the NISMO Aero Kit hasn't been confirmed but it's going to be around £2500 including VAT and fitting. Initially the kit will only be available on new Zs but later Nissan GB is hoping to establish a retro-fit programme for cars that are already out there.
Available now and fitted to the Goodwood NISMO concept are a set of dramatic, five spoke 19 inch alloy wheels. Yes, you read that right - 19 inch. The front pair are 19 inch x 8.5J and the rear are even wider at 19 inch x 9.5J. The price of a set is around £1765 not including VAT or the tyres. Rather more affordable at £40 plus VAT is the NISMO radiator cap that keeps the cooling system pressure at a higher level. This leads to a higher coolant vaporising point that in turn helps to prevent overheating when the car is being thrashed over a sustained period. No price yet on the NISMO suspension kit fitted to Nissan GB's concept. So for now just admire the menacing, road licking effect.
There have been a few changes to the interior of this car, too. NISMO kick plates, floormats and a titanium gear knob add to the Z's cabin jewellery. Nissan GB has also thrown in a pair of NISMO sports seats which are even more hip hugging than the originals. They're upholstered in Alcantara and have a special type of foam in their cushions designed to absorb vibration and shock transmitted up from the tarmac. Just as well given this car's 19 inch wheels and even stiffer suspension.
All these parts come from NISMO's S-tune range which is designed for performance improvements during road driving. NISMO is a new name to Nissan UK's accessories range. And it's being applied to the 350Z only. But it's not so new to anyone who plays 'GRAN TURISMO' or drives a Nissan Skyline GT-R. NIssan MOtorsports was established in Japan in 1984 to provide manufacturer backed performance parts for Nissan cars. And the 2004 Goodwood Festival of Speed is the natural event at which to highlight the range in the UK - not least because there will be many fans there who lust after a 350Z.
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