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The 350Z is the fifth generation of Nissan's Z-car line from Nissan, originally introduced in 1969 (as a 1970 model year) as the Datsun 240Z. It took the place of the late 300ZX of the mid 1990s. Initially released as a 2003 model, it is also known around the world as the Fairlady Z and has the official Nissan chassis code: Z33. The 300ZX had the chassis codes Z31 and Z32. It is currently available in several trim packages and is sold as both a 2 door coupé and roadster.
The car has become a favorite for aftermarket performance companies and tuners. There are near infinite choices of aftermarket parts
After the Nissan 300ZX was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 1996, Nissan initially tried to keep the Z name alive by re-creating the 240Z the following year. The car was conceived by Nissan's North American design team in their free time, and the concept was introduced in a four state Road Show in July 1998 to various car media, dealers and employees. Yutaka Katayama, regarded as the "Father of the Z" unveiled the Z concept sketch to the public when he received a motor industry award. The design, representing a modern vision of the 240Z, did not please the original 240Z designer Yoshihiko Matsuo, who compared it to the Bluebird and Leopard
The first concept model was produced for the Detroit Motor Show for the following January then later at the Los Angeles Auto Expo. Nissan was unhappy with the first design as they felt the original 200 bhp (150 kW) 2.4L engine known as the KA24DE that was going to be assigned made the car more underpowered, also they also felt the car was considered too "retro" or too "backward" resembling a futuristic 240Z thus a redesign was underway. During a press conference in February 2000, President Carlos Ghosn gave the car the green light as he felt the car would help to assist the company's recovery.
The redesigned model, now known as the Z Concept, which was similar in body shape but with a redesigned front end was unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show two years later. The car then underwent a minor redesign and was eventually assigned the VQ35DE engine, hence the car became known as the 350Z. The car would break its tradition of being of the first Z not to be produced at the Shatai plant.
The 350Z is a front engine rear-wheel-drive 2 passenger 2 door sports car designed by Ajay Panchal of Nissan Design America located in San Diego California.
The vehicle features the long-hood short-deck design common to the Z-Car family. External design highlights include: sloping fastback style roofline, unique brushed aluminum door handles, high waistline, and bulging fenders that are pushed out to the corners of the vehicle.
Interior cabin design is straight forward with brushed aluminum accents. The main gauge pod is mounted directly to the steering column allowing their movement to coincide with steering wheel adjustments. Additional gauges are mounted in a center triple gauge cluster. The 350Z's interior does not have a conventional glove box, instead it makes use of various storage compartments located either behind or between the two seats.