2005 Nissan 350Z Gran Turismo 4


(from Nissan Press Release)  Anybody who thinks that a droptop is the only Z newz due in 2005 is wrong. Very wrong. Because on 13 January at Autosport International, Birmingham, Nissan will unveil a limited production, 300PS edition of its 350Z coupe in association with Sony PlayStation’s ‘Gran Turismo 4: The Real Driving Simulator’. You might want a moment to read that again.

Only 176 of these machines will be available in the UK at a price Nissan will announce at Autosport International. Pre-orders will be taken from 1 February at the traditional time of 3.50pm. And yes, Nissan expects them to go pretty sharpish.

The GT4 is the zippiest 350Z Nissan has yet sold in the UK. The award winning 3.5-litre V6 motor gets revised pistons and camshaft as well as electronic exhaust valve timing control. This helps produce another 20PS to give 300PS developed at 6400 rpm – that’s 200 rpm higher than standard which says a lot about the revier nature of the GT4. Top speed remains a limited 155 mph but at 5.8 seconds, the GT4 is even quicker to 62 mph than standard. It howls louder, too.

All 176 GT4s run on a new design of lacquered, five-spoke, 18" alloy wheel. And no, they won’t be available as an option on the standard Z … nor will the sensational Ultra Yellow paint job that covers 76 of the UK’s allocation of GT4s. This special paint uses a high-luminance, high-chroma pearl pigment along with three layers of top coat to give a surface that looks like you could dive in and swim about. And forget eye-catching. This colour is eyeball-wrenching. In quiet contrast, the remaining 100 will be painted in stark Kuro Black.

Inside, the interior mirrors that of the 350Z GT Pack with two black leathered, electrically adjustable and heated seats as well as a thumping, 240 watt BOSE tuned stereo and 6 CD in-dash changer. Marking out each UK supplied GT4 will be a numbered, interior mounted plaque and in the boot, owners will find a gift box from Nissan containing a Sony PS2 and GT4 game. So play can continue at home, obviously.

Gran Turismo 4 is Sony’s second full GT game for PS2 and gets its Europe-wide launch, as every gamer knows, towards the end of February. With this latest release, Polyphony takes a massive stride forward towards its aim of crafting the ‘ultimate racing game’. Topping the innovations of Gran Turismo 4 is a mind-boggling new physics model that allows for the most realistic simulation yet across 50 different racing circuits of the driving characteristics of each car. And there are 500 to choose from. Only one though has been considered worthy enough by Sony to bear the Gran Turismo 4 name … the Nissan 350Z.

The only time the GT4 will be shown in the UK before deliveries start in March is at Autosport International in what will be its European debut. As well as seeing the car on Nissan’s stand, visitors will get a preview of the game. And a chance to drive the car … in virtual reality, that is. If you’re going, look for Nissan Motorsport’s Dakar Pickup above the crowds and a flash of yellow. Or just listen for the buzz that will be around it.

Serious Wheels