Beneath the Nissan 350z bonnet sits an exceptional 3.5-litre V6. Revised in ‘07, it produces 309bhp, but more importantly, 90 per cent of its 358Nm of torque output is available from a lowly 2,000rpm. That means impressive mid-range acceleration: it achieved a 30-70mph time of 5.3 seconds. The V6 was also developed to produce a more cultured sound. Press the throttle, and you are rewarded with a deep, bellowing roar from the twin exhausts. It’s tuneful and summons searing acceleration.
The Nissan also offers traditional rear-wheel-drive handling and is hugely involving. The accurate steering is weighty and delivers clear feedback, while the powerful Brembo brakes have a firm but progressive pedal. Revised gear linkage means the lever no longer vibrates in your hand, but it still retains a short and precise shift action. However, some severe mid-corner bumps can send shudders through the bodyshell to the cabin. Yet the chassis is well-balanced, easy to control and enormous fun.
Refinement is still an issue too; despite a quieter tyre compound and improved drivetrain damping, the 350Z is still quite raucous. Wind noise in particular can be intrusive and combine this with a slightly harsh ride, and the Nissan becomes tiring over long distances. It also isn’t very economical, averaging 19.8mpg, although retained values are excellent.