Differences among them lie primarily in trim. With a generous 3498cc under its hood and well-chosen ratios in the six-speed gearbox, healthy thrust is always just a twitch of your foot or a flick of your wrist away. Cheap plastics from head to toe, the stereo is dreadful, the three driver-accessible cup holders are either too flimsy or hopelessly hard to reach. It's teamed exclusively with Audi's new and darn near magical six-speed direct-shift preselector gearbox, which combines the features of manual and automatic transmissions. This smooth, linear engine shines in all applications, but is most at home spinning a six-speed manual and mounted in this light and nimble roadster. With the roof off, all senses take part in the adventure, and all the better to hear the rich exhaust note of the slick V-6.
It wore a shiny layer of Le Mans Sunset paint, and its odometer barely read over zero. For use in the Z-car, Nissan engineers have retuned this engine with slightly hotter camshafts and freer-flowing intake and exhaust systems. However, in such baffling situations, bottom-line price is usually the trump card for me, and this time, there's no doubt it's the Nissan that's holding it. Styling details like the controversial industrial-design door handles ensure this car will never be called bland. But less-than-premium materials and a distinct lack of forward stowage space dampened enthusiasm for the interior. For a firmly sprung high-performance car, the ride is impressively compliant. The exception is the Track model, which features higher spring rates and shock damping along with bigger brakes.
After a seven-year hiatus, resurrected its long-running Z-car in 2003 as the 350Z Coupe and followed that a year later with the 350Z Roadster. The seats are comfortable for the posterior while offering lots of lateral support for sport driving. Maybe it was the spectacularly space-inefficient interior and cargo areas. The rear flanks are gorgeous, but the rectangular backup-light cluster and the front grille don't fit, and an aggressive rev limiter steps in abruptly if one strays over the redline. The Touring model is available with manual or automatic transmissions. Check with your dealer for exact monthly payment. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard with a five-speed Tiptronic automatic optional.
Like other robotized manuals, the Direct Shift Gearbox uses electro-hydraulic controls to clutch and shift gears. Order a version with the excellent five-speed automatic, and you'll have a better commuter for the daily stop-and-go. And, surprise of surprises, this Porsche has luggage space in spades; there's a front trunk and another one behind the engine for a total of 9. The firm suspension always takes the hard edge off the bumps, so you never endure any audible or physical pounding. We also like the instrument cluster that moves up and down with the steering wheel when you adjust its height. Coupe or roadster, the 350Z is as responsive as a hungry cheetah, with racecar handling, rear-wheel drive, and thrilling acceleration performance.
This has been a great daily driver and what a kick to drive on a long mountain drive. Both the 30-to-50-mph and 50-to-70-mph top-gear acceleration times are about nine seconds, indicating good flexibility. The resulting 287 horsepower at 6200 rpm is about 10 percent more than the Infiniti G35 engine musters. Nissan's performance and motorsport division, Nismo, began producing performance and aesthetic upgrades for the 350Z shortly after its release. For that, you need a checking account so big your bank gave you a free toaster factory.
Though some two-seaters indulge in the relentless pursuit of luxury, we'll say that the joy of driving a sports car should be as basic as riding a bicycle. Can't really afford a 370Z? Fourth Place 2004 Nissan 350Z Roadster EnthusiastEasily the least-expensive roadster in the bunch, the 350Z has value on its side going in. AntoineI'm attracted to the Z4's thoroughbred demeanor, but perplexed by its nervous steering. Compared with the G35 application of this chassis, the ride height is set lower for the Z, with more negative camber all around. The engine is the same across all 2004 350Zs, a 3.
No editor could get fired up about the looks of the 350Z Roadster, either. Although there were increases in horsepower, the changes lead to a decrease in overall torque in the vehicle. Audi's Roadster makes particularly good use of aluminum, highlighting the radio cover, door pulls, rollbar hoops, door sills, and more. And the only power outlet is on the panel behind and between the seats, which means that your radar detector's coil cord will be at shoulder level stretched as taut as a high-tension line. It has a longer wheelbase and wider track than the Z3 model it replaced. Also the tranny grinds at times which is common. I bought it used but with only 26k miles and it drives like brand new.
The difference lies in the preselection feature of this dual-clutch gearbox: Before one gear is disengaged, the next one is preselected based on up- or downshift patterns. This information is supplied for personal use only and may not be used for any commercial purpose whatsoever without the express written consent of Chrome Data. There are times when invoking images of past greatness is absurd; consider the current Chevy Malibu. Something special: extroverted, quick, cool enough to accessorize with hot dates. It has the sleek beltline of a real sports car, not some sedan-based coupe with its roof Sawzalled off.
It seems every car in this quartet is in the grip of some sort of intense contest between strong and weak attributes. I would definitely recommend a 350z to anyone looking for a fun sports car. Think of sports-car driving like wine tasting. In its latest iteration, the Boxster S punches 258 horses from 3. It comes standard with racy hardware: a six-speed manual gearbox, carbon-fiber driveshaft, drive-by-wire throttle, anti-lock discs vented front and rear with electronic brake-force distribution.