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Is The 350Z The Next 240SX (S13/S14)?

Is The 350Z The Next 240SX (S13/S14)? - Blog

Lately I have been starting to see the relation the 350Z has to current car culture like the impact the 240sx had years ago. I started to think this when I saw more 350Z’s at drift events than S-chassis’s.

I am going to bring up why I think this, and I would love for you guys to pitch in, or debate down below in the comments section.

Is The 350Z The Next 240SX (S13/S14)? - Blog

Now to start things off, drifting and the S-chassis go hand in hand. It’s hard to think of one and not think of the other. Currently, drift events are starting to be dominated by 350z’s outnumbering the amount of S-chassis cars. What similarities do these two platforms have?

Is The 350Z The Next 240SX (S13/S14)? - Blog

Cost: Lets start with cost, the 350Z is getting cheap, with early year models in decent condition going for $5000 USD. Now this isn’t necassarily as cheap, but it is not too far off either. I remember around 2010 an average mileage, decent condition 240SX would go for $3000. The drift tax has brought that up significantally. The 350Z isn’t done depreciating so it is possible to see prices go down that low.

To add to cost, the OE motors are found in plenty of different platforms, driving cost of ownership down significantally.

Is The 350Z The Next 240SX (S13/S14)? - Blog

Chassis: Obviously both cars are front engine, rear wheel drive. The cars are both easy to slide, now this is anecdotal to claim but I assure many experienced drivers can vouch for this. The cars have similar weight distribution, a little more over the front than the rear. The wheelbase of each are different, the S14 with 99.4” and the 350Z with 104.3” BUT in ratio with the track width the 350Z has a ratio of 1.72 and the S14 has a ratio of 1.7. I bring this because the wheelbase of both cars are praised for being just right. Too short and the car is twitchy, too long and its hard to slide. Even though the Z33 is 5” longer, the ratio of the track width is very close. The cars out of the box have a decent amount of steering angle and can slide out of the box easily. Z’s came with an open diff or a VLSD, so did the S-chassis although the VLSD option is harder to find, nonetheless most end up welded.

Psst go check out Cam Auto Mag after this.
Psst go check out Cam Auto Mag after this.

For one moment, lets stop talking about drifting. Driving these cars hard merit similar driving styles. I feel both cars, and remember this is anecdotal so take it how you will, are sedate and mediocre driving around town. On a twisty road, they beg for more, they will both push the front ends if corner entry isn’t correct, so a little trail brake and similar driving lines get the most out of both cars. To argue this, the S chassis is lighter but the 350Z has a more sophisticated suspension setup.

Is The 350Z The Next 240SX (S13/S14)? - Blog

Engines: I know, one came with a four cylinder and the other has a six cylinder. Nonetheless they both get swapped with JZ and LS motors

At this very moment a group of fanboys knocked down my door and haved tied me up and are now berating me

ANYWAY, the VQ35DE and KA24DE are midrange torquey engines. They both offer a broad powerband that is very useable, although useable doesn’t win races in mejico, it is great for track days and drifting, something both cars are great at. The KA started life as a SOHC, then updated with a DOHC, just like how the VQ has had its variants, giving buyers options to consider. KA24E is to DE, KA24DE is to Revup and SR20DET is to HR. Yup, I am bringing the SR into this, they are so common to find already swapped, and so easily swappable, that im bringing it in. Also, other markets had the SR20 from the get go. There are arguments within the community of which is better. In these arguments everyone thinks they are right and if you don’t agree you’re wrong. I don’t think the KA vs SR debates were as cancerous as the DE vs HR debates within the 350Z community.

WHY is this here? Must have been a mistake right?
WHY is this here? Must have been a mistake right?

Just a small similarity to make, the KA and the VQ35DE were used in other Nissan vehicles, like the Altima or the KA in the D21 pickup and the mid 90’s Altimas. The SR and the HR were not as common, mostly found in either performance or luxury applications.

Is The 350Z The Next 240SX (S13/S14)? - Blog

Aftermarket: I think this one speaks for itself. Plenty of aftermarket options available for both. Almost everything has been covered for both platforms including swap kits for other motors, angle kits, body kits etc. I am not going to spend too much time on this subject, it’s really easy to prove and I don’t think there is much of an argument against this.

Is The 350Z The Next 240SX (S13/S14)? - Blog

Arguments Against This: This wouldn’t be an intellectual debate if I didn’t bring up some counter arguments.

The 350Z is a Z car, the 240SX is not, to some this is argument enough to end this debate. One thing with a Z car is you will always be able to find one that an older gentleman purchased and cherished. 240SX’s are disposable cars, one reason why they were a great platform to begin, but it also led to it’s demise in the used market.

Is The 350Z The Next 240SX (S13/S14)? - Blog

The Z has more power, I mean nearly double if you consider the KA24DE. Yes, true, but the Z33 is heavier. For the sake of drifting, both the 240sx and 350z’s stock powerplants are enough to get the job done.

The 350Z is used a lot more for track days along with drifting. The S chassis I feel is primarily used for drifting, and less for track. Its a damn shame, the S chassis is a great car for HPDE or doing both skids and track.

Is The 350Z The Next 240SX (S13/S14)? - Blog

The 350Z had more attention paid to comfort for the driver, with some trim levels having leather heated seats and such. The 350Z is loaded with more technologies in it as well, especially when compared to a S13. OBD2 and CANBUS systems in the Z while the S13 has a gameboy to control the on board diagnostics.

Is The 350Z The Next 240SX (S13/S14)? - Blog

Future Predictions: This is what I feel is what is going to happen to the 350Z, this is my opinion but please feel free to discuss differently. I feel the Z33 is going to have the same life cycle as the S13, I feel as the value hits its low point, they will be bought up by a younger generation and by people looking for a cheap disposable car. They will be thrashed, neglected and beat at drift days. A lot of people will be looking for clean doors because theres got ruined by a light pole. The drift tax will kick in bringing up the value, and people will still buy the car. It will be hard to find a good example that hasn’t been neglected or molested by trashy mods, ya know like blue windshield banners. The excellent condition ones will set a massive price gap inbetween the ones that have mismatched fenders. They will be renown for what they did great and people will strive to own the dream version of there 350Z. Some will be full on restorations and others will be hopeless project cars. I feel if you really want one of these, you should start your search now.

This video I made goes into the discussion that we just had. Please watch it and let me know what you guys think. Don’t forget to comment what you think the future of the Z33 is! Either here or on the YouTube comments section. Looking forward to talking with you guys!