all-new 350Z coupe has been a bargain-priced bombshell since hitting the road
last fall. And this summer, it is joined by an edgy new convertible version that
will represent not only the long-awaited successor to the basket-handled-but-still
attractive 300ZX convertible of the last '90s, but perhaps the sexiest Z car in
you choose a hardtop or convertible Z, you'll get the same techno-themed styling
with squared-off headlights and meaty, flared fenders. In place of the coupe's
cleanly styled dome roof, the convertible features a nice fabric top with a small
glass rear window, which disappears at the touch of a button underneath a rigid
tonneau cover with cool headrest fairings.
they only get better in motion, thanks to tight suspensions, razor-sharp steering
and 287-hp engines powering the rear wheels. It's hard to pick a favorite, but
we will say that the convertible offers the most direct line to the sonorous melodies
coming from the twin rear exhaust tips. Yum.
dash of the 350Z is an attractive yet serious-looking piece of sculpture, rendered
in metal and plastics-the former being of good quality and the latter not so much.
But that's easily overlooked by virtue of all the other interior strengths, which
include big, clear gauges set in a pod that moves up and down with the steering
wheel to ensure that you can see them regardless of wheel position. Great seats
coddle your bum for high-energy driving (which, after all, is what any Z-car does
also a respectable amount of front shoulder room, something you don't' always
get in sports cars, although we did find it a bit too easy for an errant elbow
to flick on the seat heaters (a terribly unwelcome surprise on one particularly
sweltering June day). The other bummer inside the Z is the enormous rear strut
tower brace that, while lovely to behold, renders the cargo area much less useful.
noting is that Nissan's luxury division, Infiniti, offers its own version of the
Z car, called the G35 Coupe (no convertible, though). With its longer wheelbase,
real trunk space and genuine back seat, the G35 coupe is capable of delivering
95% of the Z Car's performance whilst adding about 95% more real-world usability,
for only a nominally higher price.