With the wisdom gleaned over a full model cycle, or about five years in this case, I think it's safe to pronounce the returning Nissan Z car a winner. The original 240Z was a defining car for Nissan (then Datsun), and a beacon of sports car hope during the largely hopeless early 1970s. Unfortunately, it evolved - or, more accurately, devolved - into the tasteless and disco-y 280ZX and 300ZX. A magnificent redesigned 1991 300ZX restored Nissan's sports car to a position of glory, but spiraling sticker prices - especially for the most desirable, twin-turbo model - eventually snuffed out sales. After what seemed like an interminable wait, and an equally interminable parade of show cars, the 350Z finally arrived, to general acclaim.
Now, we have already seen its successor, the slightly smaller and shapelier 370Z. But even as the 370Z makes its debut, the 350Z will live on for one more year, at least in convertible form.
Aesthetically speaking, the convertible form is not the Z-car's most pleasing form. It really looks like the coupe was designed first, and the roadster sort of had to work around what was there. Beautiful roadsters have never been Nissan's forte. The previous 300ZX was a stunning design, but the roadster version was awkward. Same with the 240SX. There's no arguing with the 350Z roadster's function, however, as the power top zips up and down without issue, and the trunk space is reasonable even with the top lowered.... Read full article