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Centrifugal Boost Drops 326 WHP on Nissan's 350Z

Evan Griffey
Jun 11, 2004 SHARE

The Nissan 350Z has given enthusiasts a lot to talk about. It's super sporty, can be ordered with a stout suspension and Brembo binders, and the party starts at $26,000. Enthusiasts have been tuning the bejesus out of them from day one. There are many avenues to convert the Nissan from naturalization to pressurization, and Turbo magazine has been on the leading edge with this car since it hit the showroom floor. The latest forced-induction option for the 350Z is Vortech Engineering's centrifugal supercharger kit. The car you see here is a show-and-go proposition--Wings West handled the show and Vortech handled the go.

The 350Z kit is based around Vortech's V-2 SC-trim blower with SQ (Super Quiet) technology. The gear-driven compressor delivers a turbo-esque power curve, thanks to its turbo-esque high-efficiency impeller. The key to success is conceiving a unit that teams the proper compressor wheel in a matched compressor housing. The 350Z kit includes a MaxFlow Race bypass valve to combat compressor surge, a high-flow fuel pump, a fuel management unit, stand-alone ignition timing control computer, high-flow air filter, and all the necessary hardware, which includes billet supercharger mounting brackets.

The 350Z system also includes a front-mount, air-to-air intercooler, which is a departure from previous air-to-water underhood charge air coolers. Other go-fast goodies include a Nitrous Express single-nozzle nitrous system and a Borla cat-back exhaust system that features carbon-fiber tips. The engine was dressed to impress with Wings West's full-detail regime, including blue Thermal Flex hoses, strategic polishing and painting.

Wings West's critical focus was on the body tuning scheme, where the Nissan was adorned with a four-piece Z-spec body kit. The front fascia enhances the original styling without changing the car's identity altogether. The bumper cover features a bigger airflow opening that perfectly frames the intercooler and adds a lip spoiler, yet retains the ducts on the outside.

The car was fitted with Wings West's Signature Series aluminum grille work throughout. The outer edge of the front bumper has been augmented with Type 2 air splitters from 3D Carbon. A nice touch is how the splitters have been secured using rivets that match those in the Raceline 310 Motoring wheels. The rest of the kit consists of side skirts and a rear lower diffuser style skirt. The final styling touch is a trick 3D carbon rear wing attached via a single center-pod mounting tower. Wings West also smoked and changed the shape of the taillights by painting them to match the body and chromed the door handles to match the Modern Image graphics treatment. The Z-car's aggressive rolling stock takes its visual appeal one step further. The Nissan rolls on 20-inch, three-piece Raceline 310 Motoring billets. The five-spoke creations are 8.5 inches wide up front and a stout 10 inches wide out back. The final contact patch is provided by Toyo Proxes T1-S rubber (245/35 front, 275/35 rear). The car's stance is lowered by Eibach Pro Kit springs, which deliver a 1-inch drop all around. Another nice touch is the addition of Brembo brakes that feature body color-match calipers. The system features four-piston calipers up front and two-piston units in the rear. With 20-inch tires, they earn their money every day. The attention to detail is prevalent in the cabin as well. A Stitchcraft custom interior uses Sparco material and a Sherwood dash carbon-fiber kit to create a high-tech aura. Sparco continues to dominate with a set of Milano racing buckets, a three-point harness system with pads and trick shift knob, and the use of Alcantara material on the headliner. Wings West's Scotty Centra pulls the tough duty of driving the Z to shows, client meetings and other marketing appointments, and he reports the car responds feverishly when the load pedal is slammed. He says when he goes out on the town, the valet always gives the Nissan a prime parking spot. We set up some prime time for the 350Z on SP Engineering's Dynojet to see what the boosted VQ35DE could pump out. The car delivered 326.5 whp and 295 lb-ft of torque--that will get you down the road.

The 350Z is an emerging superstar in the performance aftermarket and we expect to see even more big power adders hit the scene. You can be sure we'll be right there at the tip of the spear, bringing you all the latest boost-up strategies.

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By Evan Griffey
271 Articles

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