• Jun 29, 2006
Nissan 350Z GT-S Concept

A group of frisky engineers at the Nissan Technical Centre Europe have been keeping busy with a special weekend project the last year or so. The results of their labors will be on full display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the form of the Nissan 350Z GT-S Concept. Visitors to the festival will see the car in action on the hill climb course. When it's not screaming up the hill, the 350Z GT-S will be on display in the Supercar Paddock.

Power has been raised to 382 horses thanks to the addition of a Novidem supercharger. Likewise, torque has been improved to 313 lb-ft. All that should be good for a 5.8 4.8 second 0-60 run.

A snarlier exhaust, retuned suspension, Strosek body kit and wheel and tire upgrades complete the package. The NTCE team that worked on the car was cost-conscious in developing it, and the upgrades were done in such a way that they could potentially be offered as aftermarket accessory "packs" (i.e. suspension pack, engine pack, etc.) by the manufacturer. A best case scenario would have the GT-S greenlighted for production as a full car.

Nissan is keeping mum about plans for the car, but you can bet that they'll be closely monitoring fan reaction at Goodwood. If it's a hit, maybe we'll see it become available in some form.

Cross your fingers.

(Press release, more photos after the jump)

[Source: Nissan UK]
Photos:
Nissan 350Z GT-S Concept
Nissan 350Z GT-S ConceptNissan 350Z GT-S ConceptNissan 350Z GT-S ConceptNissan 350Z GT-S Concept

Press Release:

NISSAN'S WEEKEND WARRIOR

    * En route to the ultimate 350Z

    * GT-S concept created by 'off-duty' Nissan engineers

    * Supercharger boosts power to more than 380PS

    * Re-tuned exhaust note for aural pleasure

    * Re-tuned suspension for even better handling

    * Body kit and aero tweaks increase downforce

    * Officially 'a work in progress'...

A small team of Nissan development engineers working in their spare time have transformed a 350Z into a highly tuned 'Saturday Special'. Called the GT-S, the supercharged super coupé is a performance-focused version of Nissan's acclaimed 'Z-'car' and is designed to appeal to enthusiastic 350Z owners who simply want more.

Its first public outing will be at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (7-9 July) where it will join other exotic road cars in the Supercar Paddock and on the famous hillclimb course.

This will be the fourth year in succession Nissan's 350Z has starred at the Festival... and each year the Z taking part has become more extreme. In 2003, shortly after its UK launch, a standard road car more than held its head high among supercars that cost four or five times as much.

In 2004, Nissan's Communications department, headed by Communications Director Wayne Bruce, had a standard road car modified with parts from Nissan's after market performance arm NISMO and registered the car with the number GB53 ZZZ.

Last year a 350Z NISMO GT was imported for the Festival, but for 2006 Bruce decided to continue the Z/Goodwood story with a special version built in-house and in the UK. He turned to Jerry Hardcastle, Director of Customer Oriented Engineering at Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE) in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, for help. Together they kick-started the GT-S project: fittingly, the finished car will wear that GB53 ZZZ registration number.

Although boasting a power hike and a substantially modified chassis, the GT-S is far from being a stripped out racing car with a rock hard ride and a peaky power delivery.

Bruce says: "The GT-S has been created as a real car not an ornament.

"We wanted to build a 'Club Special' that could still be used to commute to work during the week but would provide added thrills at the weekend: a weekday workhorse and a weekend warrior in one distinctive package."

The project's technical leader Steve Robbins – who during the week is a senior engineer in the new vehicle evaluation team at NTCE – gathered together half a dozen like-minded enthusiasts to work on the project.

Working after hours and at the weekend, the team members came from within NTCE and also from outside suppliers and was known internally as the S-Club Seven...

The principal changes made to turn the 350Z into the GT-S centre on its engine and chassis. Using a supercharger installation from Swiss manufacturers Novidem, power has increased by more than 25 per cent from 300PS to 382PS, while torque rises from 353 Nm to a heady 425Nm.

Performance gains are expected to include a one second cut in the benchmark 0-60mph time (5.8 seconds for the standard 350Z) with 2.5 seconds slashed from the 0-100mph time.

And it sounds better, too, thanks to an electronically controlled by-pass valve that enriches the exhaust note at a pre-determined engine speed.

NTCE engineers – the very men who tuned the original 350Z to suit European roads and our higher speeds – have undertaken the suspension changes. Working closely with specialists from Bilstein, the changes concentrate on optimising road performance, with improvements in both handling ability and ride comfort... particularly on British 'B' roads. Wider wheels and tyres complete the chassis alterations.

A wind tunnel developed body/aero kit from German firm Strosek not only gives the all-black GT-S a distinctive look, but also improves the 350Z's aerodynamic performance with increased front and rear downforce at speed. The package is completed by a NVH pack which makes the GT-S even more civilised than the standard 350Z.

Steve Robbins said: "We could have produced a balls-out racer with huge power outputs and very little suspension movement. But while this would have created a superb racer, it would have been virtually unusable on the road. Instead we approached the GT-S from an engineering stand-point with a view to creating a 350Z that provides more of everything... performance, handling, looks, comfort and excitement.

"We also looked at the possible marketing potential of such a project and have designed the improvements as individual 'packs' – an engine pack, a suspension pack, aero pack and so on – and kept a close eye on costs."

So will the GT-S ultimately become more than a weekend project by a group of mavericks? Nissan is saying nothing officially, though insiders point to its appearance at Goodwood as a sign the company is giving the GT-S concept serious consideration.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      As much as I love Miatas, it would appear risingsun is right: C&D ran a Flyin' Miata MX-5 in their 2003 tuner shootout, and though I'm not sure if it was a Stage II kit, they got 0-60 in 5.2 seconds and a 14.3 quarter mile.

      Wouldn't matter to me personally... I'm sure your car was fun enough to warrant illegality.

      And I agree about the Z. Even on a track, understeer and all, it's a blast.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Did someone mention Dodge Neon? Dude- you can put a twin turbo V-10 in a Neon, but it is still a Dodge Neon. You see, it's a NEON. A POS Neon. You can rebadge it Hemi or source a mercedes V-12 and stuff it in it's trunk, but its still a NEON.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yeah, too bad it's still a flippin NEON.. Dodge was even so ashamed of the name that it isn't anywhere on an SRT4. It's still just a rental car with a turbo. The transmission feels like stirring a box of lug nuts with a torque wrench. I bet 80% or more of automotive enthusiasts wouldn't be caught DEAD in one, regardless of how fast it might be, and I'm sure those same 80% would take a stock 350Z any day of the WEEK over a neon

      Yes i can safely say that the SRT-4 is a shitty car. But the performance out-does the styling and just about makes up for it. My buddy picked one up last summer, and, he used to beat G35's on a stock SRT4. For 22,000 thats pretty impressive. The idea of it being a shitty car just adds to the performance. The car is so light it just takes right off the line. You just need to get a limited slip differential and your good to race.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey guys I just wanted to reply to some comments:
      #16-I'm not 100 percent sure, but I think the SRT-4 says neon on the door jam. (fyi)
      #27-G35's are veered more towards luxury direction, being on Infiniti and all, plus we're talking about 350z's not G35's. Same engine, different cars.

      Also, in response to this constant "350z v. SRT-4" battle":
      1. speed may be very important when rating cars, but it's not everything.
      2. But when it all comes down to it, it's what you personally value most. Speed over styling, styling over speed or a balance between the two. THE BEST CAR IS THE ONE THAT IS BEST FOR YOU, because you can make a case for 100's of cars for being the "better" car than it's rival. I drive a 350z, I love the styling, engine, interior, and car in general. My bro drives a civic Type R, Japanese motor that's fully built. It'll smoke my 350z (i estimate my bro's civic is high 12's or low 13's). He loves his car also. But the thing is, that we both love driving each others car. So, much respect to those SRT-4's, but it's just not my style.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Many of you guys have not read far enough to notice the error.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Slightly used miata: $15k
      FM2 Turbo kit from FlyinMiata: $5k

      Result: a very reliable 12 second car for $20k I had one -- not one problem for 100,000 miles, when I sold it.

      The Z is an ok sports car. It's smaller inside than its exterior dimensions would lead you to believe. It's heavy. The 6-speed tranny is very unreliable. The stock limited slip diff is cheesy. There are better choices out there.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Intercooler piping to cool the air before it goes into the engine.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I need a little help here. I had a 350Z for a year, but I don't know that much about the engine and car. I did enjoy it while I had it.

      The super charger is sittign right where the intake used to sit. So, what are the pipes coming out the top, running back and then through the blue tube, and going to what I can only guess is an intercooler.

      Thanks for any explination.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #20: i think da boyz down at da FNF cruz iz gon b trippin' when dey see yo' whip...'n whut 'bout da huneeeez????

      Yo. Peaceout.
      • 8 Years Ago
      i say forget an srt-4.....all it is is a tuned dodge neon....u can never get an srt-4 to run for 2 weeks above 600 hp without doin an engine swap....and the car is just straight gay and ugly.....the 350z is at same or faster but has a hell of alot more potential in its engine....also it looks about a million times better.....honestly who wants to race a 4 door car...take that crap somewhere else....anyone who argees say agree with anthony....anyone who doesnt...u dont no crap about cars...
      • 8 Years Ago
      "From what I've seen the SRT-4 isn't really good for anything except crabwalking sideways at the starting line from massive torque steer. It could have been a real competitor with AWD."

      You clearly haven't ever spent time at a road course. No, it isn't going to embarass the Porsche GT3 weekend warrior, but they're extremely competent road racing platforms for the money.

      Nissan is capable of so much more. This is what the *base* 350Z should have been.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree with PJ, Japanese muscle car sums it up perfectly. 350Z is awesome. It would be nice if Nissan would give it a little brother... small coupe/hatch, RWD, 200ish HP four banger, low 20's price...
    • Load More Comments