Living With A Sports Car – Nissan 350Z Part V



Refresher: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV.

Finally. Finally, the new tires are on. No more listening to separating sidewalls drowning out my music. No more fearing an imminent elastic hydrocarbon polymer explosion that would send me sideways into a concrete barrier. Victory! At a cost of $189 to install and $1260 to purchase. Not an inexpensive victory, then. Many a Sir Robert Borden gave their lives for a higher cause.

So how are the new contact patches? So far so good. It hasn’t even been 72 hours that I’ve had them on, but already I’ve noticed a few important differences. The first is the friction and resulting drag created by the tires when coasting in neutral. There’s  significantly more deceleration relative to the old Eagle tires. Makes sense though, more tread = more grip = more friction. I’ve also noticed how many little pebbles, gravel and rock bits are getting kicked up by the Toyos into the undercarriage. I suppose that means they’re working.

I have yet to try any hard launches, so no word yet on how tough it will be to get the 255 rears to chirp from a stop. I will say that with the VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control) off, the new tires can be controllably coaxed into slipping just a hair. 

On a completely different front, are the ergonomics of the Zed. For driving position, everything is spot on. For anything else, it’s completely heinous. The 12V power outlet is behind the driver, the glove box is behind the passenger seat, the cup holders are where your elbow needs to be, the seat heater buttons are under your elbow so you need to be double-jointed to use them, and the list goes on.


The worst atrocity, however, comes in the form of the turning signal indicator switch. Let me explain. The left stalk behind the steering wheel is used to turn the exterior and dash lights on (by twisting the tip of the stalk CCW), but it is also used to activate the signal lights (by lifting the stalk up or down). The issue rears its ugly head at night when I’m trying to signal but the fucking headlights get turned off instead. So now I’m driving without headlights and not signalling correctly. The headlight switch is just too touchy and it’s too easy to twist it accidentally. Making me, the driver, look like a complete mutt who doesn’t know how to drive a sports car. Now, I’m not saying that I do know how to drive a sports car, I’m just saying that I don’t want to look like I can’t. 

I’m just going to have to stop signalling altogether.

Are all sports cars this bad for ergonomics? Maybe that’s why they never signal either.