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Preview: 2008 NISMO 350Z

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Preview: 2008 NISMO 350Z

Nissan's performance arm, NISMO (Nissan Motorsport) recently released the NISMO 350Z for sale in Japan and soon it will make its way stateside, debuting at NYIAS.

This is the press release for the Japanese launch:

Based on the new Fairlady Z, the Version NISMO fuses NISMO's extensive racing expertise, gained through competing in SUPER GT and other race series as the Nissan works team, with the Autech Japan’s extensive experience in manufacturing completely customized vehicles. The new model provides a heightened dimension of sporty driving pleasure, backed by the Fairlady Z's renowned performance capabilities. The customl1 Version Nissan can be purchased at Nissan dealers nationwide and receives the same after-sales service as regular Fairlady Z models.

To help enhance driving performance, the Version NISMO’s body stiffness has been improved by increasing the welded area of the body panels and adding additional reinforcement bars and panels, among other measures. High-grip Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R tires have been adopted to absorb high input forces from the road surface. In addition, the suspension system has been totally retuned to further boost cornering performance. An optimum balance of handling and driving comfort has also been achieved by adopting Performance Dampers*2 that effectively damp force inputs to the body.

The exterior design was developed on the basis of meticulous studies conducted by the Design Group and the Vehicle Performance Testing Group. A supercomputer was used to run design simulations based on aerodynamic data collected with SUPER GT race cars. The distinctive body form obtained as a result provides superior handling and stability, together with aerodynamic characteristics for creating effective downforce.

The interior is also distinguished by its unique, premium-quality ambience, resulting from the use of exclusive metallic-looking genuine leather trim. Seats are upholstered with a perforated Alcantara®*3 center section that holds the body more firmly during sporty driving.

*1: Customized cars require on-site registration at a vehicle inspection and registration office.

*2: Manufactured by Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and developed exclusively for the Version NISMO. The dampers connect the right and left side frame members at the front and rear of the car and serve to absorb body twisting and vibration.

*3: Alcantara® is an artificial suede leather manufactured by Toray Corporation.

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Oh my...

The modifications to the front aren't terrible, but what the hell were they thinking with the rear? No part of the Z is square, yet the add on is made up by straight lines and nothing else.

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Oh my...

The modifications to the front aren't terrible, but what the hell were they thinking with the rear? No part of the Z is square, yet the add on is made up by straight lines and nothing else.

Somewhat agree, though, it seems they went with more function over form in most of the design.

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This is the first thing that came to mind when I saw the front:

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Nissan just needs to go ahead and bring a 260Z to market, smaller, lighter, less ugly, cheaper, more like the original Z.

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Interesting... I like the front, but the rear..I wonder what the function of the ugly thingy below the license plate is..

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So Nissan's philosophy of high performance is ugliness?

Those rear air diffusers, I wonder how much help it will give for the car's stability, they just look to me as all show no go.

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You guys have heard of the phrase "form following function", haven't you? I mean, I don't think they screwed up of the looks of the car just for fun.

Oh, and I see zero Porsche in the NISMO Z but I see plenty of this:

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...albeit less extreme.

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Front isn't bad, but the back is stone ugly. Even if it is functional only a tiny percentage would ever take advantage of that function and then only rarely. However, 100% of the owners would have to deal with the ugly aspect every day - not worth the trade-off.

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