The result was the installation of a single-stage, radial flow supercharger; nestled so close to the 3.5-litre V6 that Cranfield didn't even have to adjust the bonnet line. The blower - supplied by Swiss-based manufacturer, Novidem - when allied with a recoded ECU, supplied a 25 per cent hike in the 350Z's output: making 300hp into 383hp, and 260lb ft into 313lb ft. Both figures eclipse the contemporary Porsche 911 Carrera S.
Of course, being a centrifugal compressor, the GT-S's supercharger doesn't whine - but there's still a distant psssshh as the belt and blower come to life, especially if you hit the Novidem button when the V6 is already at middling revs. This you will frequently find yourself doing because a) time has not been tremendously kind to the car's naturally-aspirated delivery and b) the extra vim of its forced induction is downright moreish.
This is sufficiently plentiful in fact to arguably make the switch redundant. But then you'd never have the fun of switching it on or the lengthy build-up where you deliberately abstain, as though you too were attempting to save precious fuel to go beyond the Thunderdome. For Nissan's part, the supercharger was favoured for its resistance to lag; the turbochargers of 2006 deemed too tricky to drive on the limit.
'Hairy-chested' was the metaphor commonly chosen to describe the 350Z's handling, and while the GT-S sports a reworked version of the standard multi-link suspension and wider tyres, the description still paints an appropriate picture. Over a decade on, it can be cheerily extended to the rest of the car, too: the clutch and manual six-speed gearbox (apparently unchanged from standard) are roughly as substantial as a hammer and anvil, and therefore not out of kilter with the decidedly old-school hydraulic steering rack.
Its one-of-a-kind status means that it will remain a mere footnote in the Z-car history scroll, but that doesn't prevent us from saluting its fleeting existence; if anything it amplifies it. And the GT-S's salient lesson has hardly been forgotten: accessing massively more grunt at the flick of a cabin-mounted switch remains peculiarly satisfying - and as the age of the petrol-electric hybrid looms ever larger on the horizon, that prospect might just be prominent in the silver lining.
SPECIFICATION - NISSAN 350Z GT-S
Engine: 3,498cc, V6 supercharged
Transmission: six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 383@6,850rpm
Torque (lb ft): 313@5,130rpm
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
On sale: 2003-2009
Price new: £29,500
Price now: standard 350Z £4,495-£12,300
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