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Even though it quietly appeared without fanfare at December's Los Angeles Auto Show, the revised Nissan Z car is finally making its official Japanese debut. The Fairlady Z, as it's called in its home market, receives a restyled hood with a power dome that evokes the look of the original Z.

Under said dome resides the latest version of Nissan's "VQ" engine -- the 3.5L VQ35HR, which is now good for somewhere around 308 horsepower (it's rated at 313 PS). Beyond that, the car sees the introduction of some new paint colors, larger head restraints, optional Active Head Restraints, and a grey convertible top and interior trim.

The new Z is joined by the hot-looking, sport-tuned Fairlady Z NISMO (above), which was co-developed with Autech, Nissan's customization arm. The NISMO Z's structure is reinforced to provide added rigidity and rides on sticky Bridgestone rubber and Yamaha Performance Dampers. The snarl it emits comes courtesy of a larger-diameter sport exhaust. It's wrapped in a full NISMO body kit and features a host of exclusive interior accessories as well.

Finally, Autech will produce a Lifecare Vehicle (LV) model of the Z for drivers with leg disabilities. Autech actually does this to many other Nissan models as well, but to us, it's significant that they address the enthusiast with special needs as well. Nicely done.

We'd love to see that NISMO version here, but something tells us the closest we'll get is the next edition of Gran Turismo for the Playstation 3. For more information on the refreshed Z car in general, follow the jump for Nissan's press release.



[Source: Nissan Japan]


PRESS RELEASE

Revised Fairlady Z Features Enhanced Performance, Refined Exterior and Interior
-- Factory-Backed Fairlady Z Version NISMO Also Released--

TOKYO -- Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today launched nationwide sales of a new, revised Fairlady Z with a more powerful, next-generation engine, refined hood and new exterior and interior color availability.

Leading the changes to the new Fairlady Z is Nissan's new VQ35HR engine with nearly 80% of major parts redesigned, providing improved acceleration and overall power for enhanced driving pleasure.

The exterior styling continues the Fairlady Z heritage, with the new hood design closely resembling that of the first generation Fairlady Z (S30). Three new body colors include Premium Passionate Orange (3P), a revival of the Gran Prix Orange body color of the original model.

Fairlady Z Roadsters offers a new gray top color that accentuates the exterior. On the inside, gray has been added to the available interior trim colors for a heightened impression of highly refined taste. Other enhancements include larger head restraints for more comfortable head support and adoption of Potenza RE050A tires to reduce road noise.

Major Fairlady Z specification and equipment changes
•Exterior

* Redesigned hood
* Addition of Premium Passionate Orange (3P*, special color), Dark Blue (P*) and Blade Silver (M*) exterior colors (a total of eight available)
* Adoption of a gray convertible top on the Roadster
*3P stands for three coats of Pearl, P for Pearl and M for Metallic

•Interior

* Addition of gray interior trim color

•Equipment

* Adoption of Active Head Restraints and a larger head restraint size
* Improved functionality of the DVD-based CARWINGS navigation system
* Change of tires to Bridgestone Potenza RE050A (from Potenza RE040)

•Mechanical

* Adoption of the VQ35HR engine, which delivers maximum power of 230 kW (313 PS)/6800 rpm, maximum torque of 358 N-m (36.5 kg-m)/4800 rpm and top engine speed of 7500 rpm


Introduction of Fairlady Z Version NISMO

Nissan Motor Sports International Co., Ltd. and Autech Japan, Inc., wholly owned Nissan affiliates, have jointly developed a new Fairlady Z Version NISMO, which launches today at Nissan dealers across Japan.

Based on the new Fairlady Z, the Version NISMO fuses NISMO's extensive racing expertise, gained through competing in SUPER GT and other race series as the Nissan works team, with the Autech Japan's extensive experience in manufacturing completely customized vehicles. The new model provides a heightened dimension of sporty driving pleasure, backed by the Fairlady Z's renowned performance capabilities. The customl1 Version Nissan can be purchased at Nissan dealers nationwide and receives the same after-sales service as regular Fairlady Z models.

To help enhance driving performance, the Version NISMO's body stiffness has been improved by increasing the welded area of the body panels and adding additional reinforcement bars and panels, among other measures. High-grip Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R tires have been adopted to absorb high input forces from the road surface. In addition, the suspension system has been totally retuned to further boost cornering performance. An optimum balance of handling and driving comfort has also been achieved by adopting Performance Dampers*2 that effectively damp force inputs to the body.

The exterior design was developed on the basis of meticulous studies conducted by the Design Group and the Vehicle Performance Testing Group. A supercomputer was used to run design simulations based on aerodynamic data collected with SUPER GT race cars. The distinctive body form obtained as a result provides superior handling and stability, together with aerodynamic characteristics for creating effective downforce.

The interior is also distinguished by its unique, premium-quality ambience, resulting from the use of exclusive metallic-looking genuine leather trim. Seats are upholstered with a perforated Alcantara®*3 center section that holds the body more firmly during sporty driving.
*1 Customized cars require on-site registration at a vehicle inspection and registration office.
*2 Manufactured by Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and developed exclusively for the Version NISMO. The dampers connect the right and left side frame members at the front and rear of the car and serve to absorb body twisting and vibration.
*3 Alcantara® is an artificial suede leather manufactured by Toray Corporation.

Autech Japan, Inc. will continue to provide a Driving Helper lifecare vehicle (LV)* model based on the new Fairlady Z. This LV model is fitted with the Autech Driving Control Package Type E, a set of electronically controlled driving-assistance features designed for drivers with leg disabilities.
* : Nissan Group companies use the term lifecare vehicle (LV) for cars that are specifically designed to assist people with special mobility needs in their everyday lives.