SUPERCHARGED Stillen 350Z: 380hp/346lb-ft -- Driving Impression *PICS*

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Bernout, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    "A new breed of American Muscle Car." :hsugh:

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    Author & Photos: Dan Wu, FreshAlloy.com
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    I'd like to announce the triumphant return of Muscle Cars to America. Except this time, they are wearing Japanese brands with some good old American Engineering behind them. Steve Millen, famed Nissan Factory racer from the late '80s to the mid '90s, riding to fame on Nissan's amazing run with the 300ZX, has tasked his staff at Stillen to revive the old "SMZ" badge on a new generation of Nissan Z car.

    Hence born the new Nissan 350Z "SMZ" edition, which I had the good fortune to drive through the Glendora Mountains on a brisk "wintry" afternoon in Southern California, a stone's throw away--actually closer to a lead foot's kick-down away--from Stillen headquarters in Costa Mesa, California. On first approach, it's apparent that this is not your average everyday Nissan 350Z. Immediately visible are bodywork such as a custom Stillen front fascia, side rocker panels, classy and unobtrusive rear wing, more aerodynamic rear skirt, and most importantly, a composite hood with a POWER COWL. Yeah, you read that right. :mamoru: A power cowl, reminiscent of muscle cars of the past. A power dome, which can only mean one thing: the engine compartment is so crammed with an oversized engine that they needed to modify the hood to accommodate it. A power dome that just hints at the potential of the car. Driving it, I half expected someone to pull alongside and ask "Hey, does that thing got a HEMI?"

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    Once you open the composite hood it's obvious that Stillen had taken a different approach to generating "muscle" than a big block approach. The original VQ35DE, Nissan's talented 3.5 liter V6, is left un-molested, with a Stillen twin-screw ROOTS type supercharger similar to the Eaton system employed on a lot of factory supercharger now-a-days. Look further down the engine compartment, and you can see a Stillen water-to-air intercooler prominently visible through the openings of the front fascia. What's not immediately visible is a Stillen cat-back exhaust system and a lightweight, aluminum flywheel. All of the engine modification adds up to a screaming 380hp @ 6,000 rpm and 346 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm, putting the power-to-weight ratio on par with many outright supercars.

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    It wouldn't be responsible of Stillen to put all that extra horsepower at the tip of my right toe without putting some serious stopping power to go with it. Up front, they installed a 14.25", 6 piston AP Racing big brake kit , and a 13.1" 4 piston kit in the rear. The entire system uses Ferodo racing pads that provide incredible stopping power. Of course, to take full advantage of that stopping power, you need to couple it with excellent tires. On the vehicle that I test drove, Stillen mated a set of Pirelli PZeros, 235/45/19s front and 275/35/19s rear on 19" BBS RGR rms. A set up perfectly mated to the increased horsepower and increased stopping power as well. And to further compliment the set-up, Stillen also created a new set of 5-way adjustable anti-roll bars and shorter, stiffer sport springs to improve on what's already a very impressive handling car.

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    Once you step inside the car, you'll notice that the interior has its share of upgrades as well. The entire door panel has been reupholstered with smooth leather and a touch of red strip with the letters "SMZ" embroidered. It really adds a classy touch and brings the interior up a huge step, which has been a big complaint about the 350Z compared to its competitors. There are other interior touches, such as a new shift boot and e-brake boot to match the red accent on the door, and a custom carbon-fiber looking :ugh2: center console.

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    And once the engine is fired up, you'll realize what that hump on the hood is all about. The V6 coupled with that Eaton twin-screw supercharger singing in harmony create a new breed of American Muscle car.:eek4: Ease in the go pedal, and the car will effortlessly launch you to a break-neck, land-in-jail speed in the blink of an eye. A nice, juvenile "chirp" of the tires can be achieved in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gear with this much torque and horsepower on tap, despite the fat tires in the rear. Coupled with a free-flowing exhaust, it creates a deep rumble that would melt the heart of any motor-head. On my little drive up the mountain road near Glendora, I could leave the car in 3rd gear and motor along from 20 mph all the way up to 70 mph, so much torque on tap that I never had to worry about having to downshift. Without the blower, I definitely would've needed 2nd gear more than once.

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    I haven't even gotten to the really good part of this car yet. Stillen has recently obtained CARB approval for the use of this supercharger kit in the Nissan 350Z and Infiniti G35 :cool: with other applications soon to follow. Not only does this supercharger pass CARB testing, it is also backed by Stillen's excellent warranty that covers the engine and Supercharger for 3 years or 36,000 miles. In fact, if you wish you can have this kit installed at a local Nissan dealership before you take possession of your vehicle, to ensure a professional, OEM style installation and possibly work the cost of the kit into a lease or finance deal. And despite its "muscle car" musings, the car is incredibly civil under normal, everyday driving conditions. On the drive up to the Glendora area, the engine note is so smooth and subtle that there's no need to raise our voice above conversation level for clear communication. Commuting, this car is just as smooth and livable as your everyday 350Z, with a touch of exclusivity and class added; on the track and twisty roads it roars to life, the finely tuned exhaust portraying the car for what it really is—every bit the street legal racecar.

    Overall, as an entire package this car rivals the best that Europe has to offer, with Nissan engineering and reliability. The package does not come cheap, but if you add everything up, you're still well shy of the high performance dollars that Munich or Stuttgart puts out, while maintaining the same level, if not better, performance. And the styling will satisfy the boy-racer in all of us, taking us back to the days of great American Muscle cars.
    In a Nissan.




    http://www.stillen.com

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    STILLEN I/COOLED SUPCHGR NISSAN 6SPD 350Z 2003
    Part Number: 407350IC

    $5,239.00



    That's not a bad price for the kit... :cool:
     
  2. nissanpower

    nissanpower I :heart: PeyPey

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    My jaw just hit the floor.

    oh, ibeleventybillionpagesofnissanhate
     
  3. DSHR

    DSHR Well-Known Member

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    Without the graphics that's a bad ass ride. And I hate imports :hsugh:
     
  4. Zach

    Zach OT Supporter

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    I :love: those wheels.
     
  5. MR2 Moogie

    MR2 Moogie New Member

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    that's pretty sick
     
  6. fallenbox

    fallenbox Guest

    He really fucked that body up hardcore... /ricer


    ibcarsuglyanyway

    THE CAR IS BEAUTIFUL..... well not NOW it isn't..... :mamoru:
     
  7. supdawg

    supdawg Jeep Crew, skydiving crew, CF crew, gixxer crew, S

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    Where are the performance numbers???
     
  8. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Active Member

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    new hotness :cool:
     
  9. twinturboteddy

    twinturboteddy Bling Bling!

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    cARB APPROVAL OR NOT drive it in California and the cops will still give you a ticket.
     
  10. Zach

    Zach OT Supporter

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    Thread title.:ugh:
     
  11. TRN

    TRN Well-Known Member

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    Looks nice
     
  12. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    I imagine that a ~$42k Z with over 350hp would do very well in the sports car market....Nissan dealers are actually installing these things, and Stillen warranties the engine and blower for 3 years!

    I think Nissan should take a hard look at giving the people what they want! MORE POWER! Whether its from a 4.5L V8, TT V6, or Stillen blower, it can be done and be successful.
     
  13. Sex Machine

    Sex Machine New Member

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  14. zatar

    zatar New Member

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    Very Nice!
     
  15. Zach

    Zach OT Supporter

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    I cant take you seriously with that av. :rofl:
     
  16. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    :dunno: Its just a driving impression, not a track test.

    But do the math: 380hp at that wieght would put it in the high 12's.
     
  17. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    :rofl: :fawk:
     
  18. Dr. Zoidberg

    Dr. Zoidberg the lovable tramp

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    well, it's uglier than the stock Z :dunno:

    Probably performs more like a Corvette with that kind of power :hs:
     
  19. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    :dunno: if any swaps have been done yet...most tuners have focused on forced induction first...

    But yeah, the M45/Q45/FX45 have it.
     
  20. DefBringer

    DefBringer Guest

    Bye bye warranty!
     
  21. JSHTROD

    JSHTROD New Member

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    Doesn't the 350z already have a really high amount of compression? How much boost can this thing run on pump gas? Qmile times?
     
  22. OPTIMO

    OPTIMO New Member

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    Kit is moderately priced. Hard to NOT buy one for only $5k.
     
  23. Pro Street

    Pro Street New Member

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    This thing was in Modified magizine early last fall
     
  24. antihero

    antihero OT Supporter

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    roots style blower? blech... :down:
     
  25. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    :ugh:

    Read much? :slap:
     

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