Sunday, July 13, 2008

Nissan Fairlady 350Z - Z33 5th Generation, Bangkok

Saw this 5th generation Fairlady aka 350Z aka Z-Car at a Bangkok mall...

Slurp ...

Z-car usually refers to a series of sports cars manufactured by Nissan. Early on they were released under Nissan's Datsun brand name.
Starting out in 1969 with the 240Z, the Datsun Z-cars have been popular in Japan, where they are known as the Fairlady Z (Note: the Fairladys used 2000 cc L series motors), the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Even with their good looks, reliability, and strong performance, they have been remarkably affordable automobiles. The Nissan Z cars also currently holds the record of best selling sports car of all time with around 1,685,000 in five generations.

Fifth generation (Z33) / Nissan 350Z
When Carlos Ghosn of French company Renault stepped in, buying 44.4% of the company in 1999 and becoming its chief operating officer, people still had reason to believe that the Z-car would be lost in the shuffle and would never reappear again. Massive restructuring on a scale never before seen by the Japanese automakers led to such fears, among layoffs, corporate restructuring, and product management issues that resulted. Yet Ghosn surprised people after becoming CEO by telling reporters: "We will build the Z. And we will make it profitable."

Finally in August 2001, Nissan introduced the Z Concept. Much like its previous Z concept, it debuted at the North American International Auto Show and was also painted bright orange. The squat, long-hood/short-deck styling was the result of a competition between Nissan's Japanese, European, and American design studios, with the La Jolla, California studio's design being chosen.
The product planners wisely decided to avoid the price problems that plagued the last few years of the 300ZX and shot for a target MSRP of $30,000 while using the Porsche Boxster as a benchmark.

In the summer of 2002, the 350Z was finally released to wide acclaim. It used the 3.5-liter VQ35DE engine from multiple Nissan cars, including the Maxima and Pathfinder. This engine initially produced 287 bhp (214 kW) and 274 ft·lbf (371 N·m) torque, but in 2005 was bumped up to an even 300 bhp (220 kW) and 260 ft·lbf (350 N·m). Prices started at $26,000 US, well below the $30,000 mark initially set.
Coupled to either a 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic (the auto loses 13 bhp (9.7 kW) in comparison), it is currently available only as a 2-seater hardtop and a convertible, introduced in 2004, and there will not likely be a 2+2 configuration.


just kim said...

thanks for the drool-worthy pics.. gosh! it's so beautiful!

Julian Si said...