For 2006, the dramatic Nissan 350Z sports car receives its first comprehensive updating since its introduction in the United States market in August 2002. The changes to the Z, which has sold over 100,000 units in its first three years, include a revised front end appearance, enhanced interior, LED taillights, a new vehicle speed-sensitive power steering system, refined optional navigation system and available RAYS super lightweight 18-inch front/19-inch rear 5-spoke forged alloy wheels (Coupe only).
A new Grand Touring Coupe model featuring the 18/19-inch wheels, Brembo brakes, front and rear spoiler and Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) has been added to the model lineup and all 6-speed manual transmission models now receive the 300-horsepower tuning of the Z?s standard 3.5-liter DOHC V6. Models equipped with the 5-speed automatic transmission are rated at 287 horsepower.
For 2006, the 350Z is again available in Coupe and Roadster body styles and in an array of models ? five for the Coupe and three for the Roadster. Each provides sports car lovers high performance excitement and dynamic driving experience, with a style all its own. Other enhancements for the new model year include standard 18-inch cast aluminum-alloy wheels (except Coupe Track and Grand Touring models), increased brake rotor size for non-Brembo models, standard bi-xenon (low and high beam) headlights, and mp3-CD capability for the available Bose audio system.
Three new exterior colors are available for 2006: Silver Alloy, Magnetic Black, and Interlagos Fire.
The 350Z Coupe and 350Z Roadster share their proud performance heritage, including state-of-the-art platform, engine, suspension and braking systems. The Z?s FM (Front Mid-Ship) platform positions the engine behind the front axle, providing an optimized front-to-rear weight balance of 53/47. The FM platform, derived from racing technology, also places a strong emphasis on aerodynamics, especially on the control of airflow under the body.
The Heart and Soul of the 350Z
The heart and soul of the Z, since the original 1970 model, is its engine. Again for 2006, every 350Z offers a standard 3.5-liter VQ35DE V6 engine, which delivers not only outstanding start-off acceleration and high-speed passing performance, but also torque characteristics suitable for city driving. The engine utilizes an advanced intake port design and Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) technology. Drivability has been further improved by adopting an electronically controlled ?drive-by-wire? throttle and the use of a highly rigid cylinder block.
Aluminum block and heads reduce engine weight, contributing to improved fuel economy and performance. Lighter pistons and connecting rods trim mass, allowing the engine to respond and rev more freely, while lightweight, hollow camshafts help reduce energy losses when the engine is running. The Z also features a lightweight, one-piece, carbon fiber reinforced plastic driveshaft unit.
Along with a powerful engine, the Z produces a powerful sports car sound to match ? one without the low frequency booming or rumbling that can grow tiresome on long trips or high-pitched mechanical sounds. The exhaust sound is maximized at low RPM (1,000-3,500 RPM), but quiet at normal cruising range. Intake sound is maximized at high RPM (3,500-6,000 RPM), especially at wide throttle openings, but toned down during cruising.
Both a 6-speed close-ratio manual and 5-speed automatic transmissions are available (manual transmission only on Coupe Track model). The manual transmission features close-ratio gearing from 1st to 5th speed ranges for high-performance driving and an overdrive 6th speed for long-legged highway fuel economy and reduced engine noise. The advanced automatic transmission design includes Downshift Rev Matching (DRM), which provides smooth downshifting.
New RAYS Wheels
New RAYS super lightweight 5-spoke forged-alloy wheels, 18x9-inch front and 19x10-inch rear, are standard on the 350Z Track and Grand Touring models. The new wheels are mounted with 245/40WR18 (front), 265/35WR19 (rear) Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires. All 2006 Zs feature a standard Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) with a separate readout for each tire.
The 350Z Coupe takes its cues from the original 1970 Datsun 240Z ? a front engine/rear-wheel drive drivetrain configuration, two-seat interior, a powerful 6-cylinder engine and, like the original, features a true hatchback body.
Design cues passed on from the first-generation Z include the long nose and short deck styling, triangular cabin form and the lines extending from the arch-shaped roof to the hatchback opening. For 2006, the front end appearance of the Z has been refreshed with a revised front bumper, headlights and grille design. Also new are High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-xenon (high and low beam xenon) headlights.
Inside the stylish Z Coupe body, the interior has been revised for 2006 with new cloth seat material, new meter styling, redesigned door panel styling, revised HVAC controls, new storage space including the addition of a cupholder on each door panel, a new storage net on the passenger side footwell and the addition of steering wheel switch lighting (except base model).
Other enhancements include steering wheel audio controls (except base model), mp3-CD capability for the available Bose audio system and available satellite radio with body-color antenna on Coupe models. Also upgraded for 2006 is the Z?s available Nissan Navigation System, which offers an all-new graphic interface, new menu structure, intelligent search capabilities and key functionality improvements ? including split screen capability (allows viewing of map and intersection simultaneously).
Models and Options
The 2006 350Z Coupe is available in five models ? 350Z, Enthusiast, Touring, Track (manual transmission only) and the Grand Touring. Standard features on all models include the 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine, independent multi-link suspension with front and rear stabilizer bars, strut tower bar, power windows, 3-bay gauge cluster, bi-xenon headlights, dual front air bags and more.
The Enthusiast model adds HomeLink Universal Transceiver, cruise control, Traction Control System (TCS), Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD), aluminum pedals, illuminated steering wheel audio controls and auto dimming rearview mirror.
The Touring model adds a Bose audio system with 6-disc CD changer and 7 speakers, leather-appointed seats with 4-way power driver?s seat, heated seats, and, for manual transmission models only, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC).
The 350Z Coupe Track model comes with a close-ratio, 6-speed manual transmission, front and rear spoilers, RAYS super lightweight 5-spoke forged aluminum-alloy wheels, Brembo brakes and Vehicle Dynamic Control.
The ultimate Z Coupe model is the Grand Touring model, offering front and rear spoilers, RAYS super lightweight 5-spoke forged aluminum-alloy wheels, Brembo brakes and Vehicle Dynamic Control.
Four options are available, on the 2006 350Z Coupe and Roadster: a DVD-based navigation system (Touring, Grand Touring and Coupe Track models only); satellite radio (with choice of XM or Sirius service), side and curtain side-impact supplemental air bags (Coupe) and side supplemental air bags (Roadster Enthusiast model).
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