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Jaguar logoWAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. – When does a
horsepower begin to whop? Somewhere on the loopy, traffic-infested back roads of
near upstate New York -- where Bill Clinton’s a local at the Dunk and Dine --
the eternal Zen question of sportscars arose and fell with a few turns of a
subscribeSomewhere in the ex-presidential existential maw, it
occurred to me that, in Nissan’s view, every car should have the potential to
whop. It’s certainly the case with the new 350Z, which sports a whopping 287
horsepower, hence the cliché. Sure, it’s yet another iteration of the V-6 engine
that’s decorated many a new Nissan from the Altima to the Maxima. Don’t quote us
on it, but we’re pretty sure this powerplant was also used to power President
Bush’s win in Florida.
The 350Z is starkly different from the old Nissan vehicles still plodding around behind that gem of an engine. Wrapped in a loving two-door, two-seat body and set upon the sophisticated FM platform shared with Infiniti’s G35 sedan, the 350Z gives enthusiasts reason to believe that not every vehicle need be a truck, sport-ute, or watered-down crossover. It is the laser target that enthusiasts want to see aimed at their foreheads.
Long time brewing
forumThe last Z – the 300ZX, an all-time favorite among enthusiasts and
brake shops – drifted off into euthanasia in 1996, as much a victim of its own
excess (price mostly, but weight too) as the struggle to right the listing
Nissan ship. It wasn’t until the past three years that Renault’s Carlos Ghosn
helped right the company’s finances with a major injection of capital and