The Track package includes front and rear spoilers, underbody diffusers, Brembo brakes (12.76 inches, four-piston front and 12.68 inches, two-piston rear), six-spoke Ray’s Engineering forged alloy wheels (18×8.0 inches front, 18×8.5 inches rear) and Bridgestone Potenza RE040 summer tires (225/45R 91W front, 245/45R 96W rear). We also get a host of features available on other models: Vehicle Dynamic Control, traction control, xenon headlamps, viscous limited-slip differential, cruise control, tire-pressure monitor and optional side and head curtain airbags. Our car also came with aluminum kick plates, splash guards, floor mats, trunk mat and cargo net.
At the track, the Z posts impressive numbers. Our test car, also a Track model, ripped the 0-to-60-mph run in just 5.66 seconds.
Our testers were impressed with the power (287 hp at 6200 rpm) generated by the 3.5-liter V6. One noted that although peak torque (274 lb-ft) doesn’t come on until 4800 rpm, most of that grunt is available from 2500 rpm.
While it’s called the Track model, our new Z will spend its year with us on the road. We’ve covered 3500 miles and found little to dislike thus far. Understeer though it may on the skidpad, the Z offers a fine road-going balance we wish every car possessed. To a staffer, we find the Z accelerates, brakes, steers and turns better than almost any other car we drive. The brakes are a particular source of smiles; “gonzo,” as one editor calls them. The seat-of-the-pants impression is confirmed at the track, where the Z stopped from 60 mph in just 114 feet, the equal of Porsche’s 911 GT2. Even the ride, which is stiff, surprises with its livability.
2003 NISSAN 350Z TRACK MODEL INTRODUCTION
PRICING & OPTIONS
Options: Track model, with front and rear spoilers, 18-inch aluminum wheels, Brembo brakes, viscous limited-slip differential and underbody diffusers.
side-impact and head curtain airbags splash guards aluminum kick plates cargo
convenience package floor mats trunk mat
Wheelbase (in): 104.3
Track (in): 60.4 front, 60.8 rear
Length/width/height (in): 169.6/71.5/51.9
Curb weight/GVWR (lbs): 3225/3815
3.5-liter/213.6-cid dohc V6
Horsepower: 287 @ 6200 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 274 @ 4800 rpm
Compression ratio: 10.3:1
Fuel requirement: 87 octane
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Final drive ratio: 3.54:1
Front: Multilink with strut tower brace and antiroll bar
Rear: Multilink with strut tower brace and antiroll bar
Discs front and rear, electronic
brake force distribution, ABS,
aluminum wheels, Bridgestone
Potenza RE040, 225/45R-18 91W
front, 245/45R-18 96W rear
EPA rating (combined): 22.85 mpg
TRACK TEST DATA
0-60 mph: 5.66 sec
0-quarter-mile: 14.32 sec @ 99.7 mph
60 mph-0: 114 ft
490-foot slalom: 46.9 mph
(200-foot skidpad): 0.86 g
INTERIOR NOISE (dBA)
Full throttle: 91
Steady 60 mph: 70