If you're a loyal reader of Turbo, and we're sure that you are, you'll notice we splatter our pages with some of the baddest, most boost-friendly monsters cruising the streets and the track. Most of the cars we feature pump out numbers anywhere from 350 whp to 650+ whp with the majority being force fed using some of the finest air that Mother Earth has to offer. But we are big fans of all-motor as well. Regardless of how you get there, power and speed go hand in hand. No boost. No problem.
JDM tuner Auto Produce Boss is a full service tuning shop based out of Nagano, Japan, and is known for its pack of heavily modified demo cars. This Nissan Fairlady Z (350Z in the U.S.) was assembled in time for the annual Nissan orgy known as the Nismo Festival and was built with the intent to be the ultimate naturally-aspirated Z. Even without a turbocharger and intricate plumbing this Fairlady is sure to inspire Z owners the world over.
The recipe for tire destruction began with an S1-spec engine lifted out of the Japanese market-only, limited-edition S-Tune GT model. Modified by Nismo and released to commemorate the Z's then-new participation in the 2003 GT500 championship, the S-Tune GT featured a modified VQ35 engine with a host of N/A mods delivering 263.3 wheel horsepower. Working with such a solid platform as a starting point AP Boss went a few steps further with the S1 engine, taking the 3.5L engine to 296.8 whp.
The pistons are forged Nismo prototype units which raise the compression ratio while the connecting rod bolts remain the stronger-than-350Z S1 units. The cylinder heads were worked over by Nismo and then fit with 284-degree intake cams with 0.43 inches of valve lift and 268-degree exhaust cams with 0.41 inches of valve lift. Fortified with titanium Nismo valve springs, the Nismo cams help the VQ engine make the big numbers without boost. Striving to uncork the Z and make airflow as free as possible AP Boss fit Tomei headers and their own Boss titanium dual exhaust system to the Fairlady.
On the cold side, the intake consists of the stock S-Tune GT intake pipe, air filter, and carbon-fiber air funnel. In case you're wondering, the carbon-fiber engine cover and blacked out intake manifold are standard S1 engine units. The fuel injectors are stock S1 pieces but the pump feeding them is an upgraded Nismo unit. The only drivetrain modification AP Boss found necessary to hold down the N/A power was a Nismo Super Copper Mix clutch kit and Nismo two-way limited-slip differential.
Completing the look outside are full carbon-fiber body treatments from Varis including a front lip cover, undertray, canards, air-intake duct, side diffusers, rear diffuser, GT wing, and hood. Providing airflow to the Nismo oil cooler up front, the Varis pieces are designed to be lightweight as well as functional, directing airflow and improving the aerodynamics.
Maintaining a low and mean stance, the Z was dropped onto AP Boss's wheel of choice, Prodrive's gorgeous GC-05F. Covered in 245/45-18 front and 265/40-18 rear Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R tires, the Prodrive wheels are forged monoblock pieces of pure beauty.
Blaring right through those forged spokes is a heart-stopping view of the monster brakes from infamous Italian manufacturer Brembo. The fronts are upgraded with beefy four-piston calipers, 14-inch slotted rotors, and Nismo R-Tune brake pads. The rears retain the factory stock Brembo two-piston calipers but are filled with Nismo R-Tune brake pads.
Backing up the track prowess of the braking system, the suspension is a prototype Prodrive setup utilizing some seriously track-stiff 13-kg/mm springs all around. Holding the driver and passenger in place within this track-ready street car are a pair of carbon/kevlar Bride Gias seats fitted with Prodrive harnesses. Featuring the grip of a bucket shell with the reclinable comfort of a street seat, the Gias costs serious bills yet is one of the best all-around seats on the market. A Prodrive suede steering wheel is just a reach away.
With the braking setup and suspension system of a race car, the comfort of a fully-equipped street Z, and the kind of throttle response that only a naturally aspirated engine can provide the Auto Produce Boss Fairlady Z is a role model for all 350Z owners that don't have a turbocharger or supercharger hooked up. Want to stay out of boost? Don't worry, there's hope for you too.