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Nissan 350Z: Modern-day 944?

I was reading through a longterm test of a Nissan 350Z in the newest issue of Automobile Magazine, and some of the editors had mentioned in the logbook that the 350Z is like a modern-day, cheaper version of the 944. Apparently, from the tone of the comments, they held the 944 in very high regard back in the day. I'll post the exact quotes later tonight when I get home, but I thought you all might find the 350Z/944 parallel interesting.

So, do you all think the 350Z is akin to a 'modern-day 944'? If not, what car do you think comes closest?
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Old 02-21-2004, 12:43 PM
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Mazda RX-8.

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Old 02-21-2004, 01:45 PM
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The sports car climate was horrible back in 1983. The 944 was the benchmark for performance and styling.

By about 1986, there was much stiffer competition like the C4, 2nd gen RX-7, Starion Turbos, M3, 300 ZX, MR2 and Supra. Reading through my mag collection, which dates back to 1982, the 944 was still the favorite in most comparison tests even if the other cars were faster or handled better. One of the best comparison tests was Corvette vs Ferrari 308 vs 928 vs 944. The 944 got great reviews in that test even though it did 0-60 in only 9 sec.
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Old 02-21-2004, 04:27 PM
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Old 02-21-2004, 06:35 PM
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Old 02-21-2004, 06:37 PM
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Nah S2000 is too much like a suped up Myata. There's Wolf tryin to raise Ire with the metro wank. I'd say of all the latest cars to come out the RX-8 is the closest to what Porsche was trying to do with the 944. Funny how Datsun got a lot of credit for the 240Z when it came out, after doing tons of track testing with 510s, then Porsche pops up with the 924 in which in many ways really showed how dated the engineering in the 240Z was.
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Old 02-21-2004, 06:51 PM
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Alright, here are the direct quotes from the magazine:

Quote:
"An outstanding performance value," said senior editor Eddie Alterman. "they got all the important stuff right: Control feel is incredibly consistent, pedal placement is perfect, and the ride-and-handling balance doesn't give up much to the classics (i.e., the Porsche 911 and 944)."

"Lots of reasons to love this car," agreed executive editor Mark Gillies, "including the styling, the performance, the nicely balanced handling, and the fact that its the modern-day 944 for less money."
Before reading this 350Z review, I tended to agree with some others here and think that the RX-8 is the closest thing on the market to the 944 nowadays. Now this new assessment by Automobile magazien has got me thinking, and in many ways, the 944 and 350Z are very similar, but I still think the RX-8 is a better match due to its lighter weignt. The 350Z is a little too heavy to be a perfect match for the 944.
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Old 02-21-2004, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lousailor
Nah S2000 is too much like a suped up Myata.
I gotta disagree there. An S2000 and a Miata are similar only in that they are roadsters built by a Japanese manufacturer. A Miata is a very fun car to drive, but an S2000 is a beast. 9000 rpm redline, and excellent handling. It will eat a Miata for lunch, and run circles around a 944na at the track. I think aside from the upcoming Lotus Elise, the S2000 is the purest sports car sold in the US market. 2 seats, light weight, rev-happy engine, excellent shifter, and ultra-precise handling. I want one bad, even more so than a Boxster or any other comparable Porsche.
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Old 02-21-2004, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lousailor
Funny how Datsun got a lot of credit for the 240Z when it came out, after doing tons of track testing with 510s, then Porsche pops up with the 924 in which in many ways really showed how dated the engineering in the 240Z was.
Sure the Z had older technology, but the 7 year older Z would eat the 924 or same year 914 for lunch and nip at the heels of a similar vintage 911 or a 13 year newer 944.

70 240Z=2300lbs and 150 hp. And reliable.
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Old 02-22-2004, 12:15 AM
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Nah, I have to disagree - when I looked (closely) at both the s2000 and the new mazdaspeed (turbo) miata at the L.A. auto show recently, I say I'd far rather have the mazda. I actually think it looks better, seems cleaner, etc. For the price (less, actually) it's more car, IMHO. The s2000 is a nice looking car and looks like it'd be a lot of fun, but I just didn't get that "wow" feeling from it in the same way I did about the mx5.

I've heard that the s2000 engine is REALLY annoying because it doesn't come on until over 4 grand. Do you really want to be driving around in something that sounds like a leaf blower all the time? To its credit though, it is the highest-horsepower producing engine per cubic inch in history (production engines). What's kind of laughable though is its torque (or lack thereof) - only 153 lb-ft! And that's at 7500 RPM!!!
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Old 02-22-2004, 03:22 AM
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My memory is going here, it was either Road & Track or Car & Driver of era in a 'best of' issue said best handling cars were 944 (world) and Z-28 (domestic)

I think 350Z is closest to 944 in concept. Good all-around chassis and brakes, nice, but not class-leading engine. 944 has better packaging though. 944 NA engine was class-leading until 86-87. Then more powerful sports cars started showing up.

RX8 is more innovative. Styling, rear doors and advanced rotary.

If I was buying a new sports car tomorrow I'd pick RX over Nissan.

But I'm not! Wanted a 944 in 84 but bought GT Mustang instead due to $15K price difference. I've got window sticker for my 944; $28K! And as I recall, very few sold at sticker.

except for auto trans (for wife) my 84 still meets my expectations of a great modern sports car
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Old 02-22-2004, 04:41 AM
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The RX8 will never be a convertable though - too much structure is lost with the double door. Good looking car though if you're content with a coupe.

I thought the 350ZR (roadster) was nice, but for very little more you're into a 2.5L BMW Z4. FAR better for the money.
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Old 02-22-2004, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Porsche-O-Phile
Nah, I have to disagree - when I looked (closely) at both the s2000 and the new mazdaspeed (turbo) miata at the L.A. auto show recently, I say I'd far rather have the mazda. I actually think it looks better, seems cleaner, etc. For the price (less, actually) it's more car, IMHO. The s2000 is a nice looking car and looks like it'd be a lot of fun, but I just didn't get that "wow" feeling from it in the same way I did about the mx5.

I've heard that the s2000 engine is REALLY annoying because it doesn't come on until over 4 grand. Do you really want to be driving around in something that sounds like a leaf blower all the time? To its credit though, it is the highest-horsepower producing engine per cubic inch in history (production engines). What's kind of laughable though is its torque (or lack thereof) - only 153 lb-ft! And that's at 7500 RPM!!!
I agree that the Mazdaspeed Miata is a much better match for the S2000 than the base model, which I was talking about in the last post. I still prefer the S2000, but mainly due to looks and engineering prowess rather than any substantive performance difference. As for the Honda engine making all of its power high on the RPM range- a turbo car would have reletively similar characteristics, since most are dogs until the boost hits. Besides, if I have an S2000 I would be running that thing to redline every chance I got .
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Old 02-22-2004, 02:03 PM
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Yes, the 944 was beloved by road testers in the 1980s - see my sig. Actually, EVO magazine still mentions the 944 en passe as one of the great affordable sports cars.

It's easy to see why the 944 was a hit. In 1983, its sportscar competition was Corvette Stingray (82 model - 83 was the only year with no Corvette), Mustang GT (probably the closest thing to a performance value), Alfa-Romeo Spyder, DeLorean DMC12, Ferrari Mondial, Datsun Z... it outperformed all of them easily, even the Mondial.
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Old 02-23-2004, 06:45 AM
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had

1976 260 z - straight six, fuel injected light and simple..feel was similar to the 944

1983 280z - not put together all that well, lost lots with "refinement" but still fun.

1985 300z - much more refined but no more zip and handling comparatively....take the 944 ANY day over this.

Will try a new 300 soon.
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Old 02-23-2004, 07:23 AM
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I've heard the Subaru WRX is really close to a 944 in handling/power (well the turbo in power). Although I drove one before and felt like I was too high off the ground
Old 02-23-2004, 07:50 AM
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ummm completely different kind of car. The WRX is an all-wheel drive rally-inspired car that's closer to a saloon than a purpose-built sports coupe like the 944. That's not to say it's not a good car - actually, it's a pretty damn great value... just a very different type of car.
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Old 02-23-2004, 08:22 AM
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The reason I say that is because in a review I read they compared it exactly to the 944 turbo. Although a bit different, they have about the same handling and power as a 944 turbo. Yes it is no coupe or rear wheeler, but it has about the same room for mods as the turbo and about the same starting point. Much more simalar than the 350z in my opinion. I drove one and hated it. HORRIBLE vision, and my foot would get caught on something near the clutch. I hate that

And V6 vs 4cyl. turbo (944 and WRX)
Old 02-23-2004, 09:22 AM
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My take: the 350Z is the closest modern sports car to the 944.

Then again, if they come out with a Boxster coupe....

-Z.
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Old 02-23-2004, 09:37 AM
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I would LOVE a Boxster coupe. If there is one on the market, that will be the first car I buy when I get out of school. Hopefully I'll still have my 944 then as well.

I'm beginning to think that the 350Z is more akin to a modern day 944S2 or 968. Those cars all have nice, torquey engines and can be used as daily drivers easily. The weight difference is not as much as I thought either. The 350Z weighs ~3250lbs while the S2 is about 3000 and the 968 is something like 3100. The 944 2.5 na does not have the power to really be compared to a 350Z, but the S2 and 968 do...

So I guess I agree then, the 350Z is the modern day 944 until the Boxster Coupe comes out.
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Old 02-23-2004, 11:36 AM
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