Comparing the 3.5L Nissan Maxima and 3.5L 350Z Engine

Published: 06th April 2010
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The Nissan Maxima and the Nissan 350Z engine are two very different cars. The Maxima is a premium four door sedan that has been a part of the Nissan stable of vehicles in the United States for over 3 decades. The Nissan 350Z is a two door sports coupe which was produced by Nissan from the early 70's until the mid 90's. At that point it was discontinued, and then reintroduced to the American market in 2003. While both the Maxima and 350Z are powered by different variants of the same 3.5 liter engine, there are significant differences in the power and performance of each engine.


The 3.5 liter engine that is the Nissan Maxima engine is a high tech unit that employs a number of high tech features that are found both in the Nissan Maxima engine and the Nissan 350Z engine. The most significant feature found in both engines is the variable valve timing feature; the feature increases both the fuel economy and performance of the engine by managing the cam timing. Engine efficiency is also improved by employing low friction molybdenum-coated pistons and a high flow tuned induction system. Nissan also uses a DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coating on the valve lifter to lower friction. This technology improves both fuel economy and power transfer efficiency, and Nissan is the first company in the world to employ this technology. Both engines are dual overhead cam designs that employ four valves per cylinder. Fuel is sent through the engines in both vehicles using a sequential fuel induction system. While both engines have a compression ratio of 10.6:1, the Nissan 350Z has a 7500 revolutions per minute red line that is significantly higher than the Nissan Maxima engine.


The Nissan 350Z engine underwent an evolution over the 3 years that it was used in the 350Z. The engine was rated at 287 horsepower in its first year of use in the 350Z. The following year that power rating was increased to 300 horsepower. In the final year of use in the 350Z, the power rating increased to 306 horsepower. The increase in horsepower in the Nissan 350Z engine came at the expense of torque. The torque output in the Nissan 350Z engine decreased sustantially, from 278 pound-feet in the 2003 model year to a torque rating of 260 pound-feet in the 2006 model year. The 350Z engine returned outstanding performance figures in all three years of its use. In its final year of use in 2007, the Nissan 350Z engine motivated the car from zero to sixty in 5.8 seconds. The vehicle was able to reach a top speed of 155 miles per hour. Power output in the Nissan Maxima engine is slightly lower than the Nissan 350Z engine; the Nissan 350Z engine produces 290 horsepower at 6400 revolutions per minute.


About: The Nissan Maxima engine makes the Nissan Maxima slightly slower than the Nissan 350Z because of the difference in power output. The Nissan Maxima engine propels the Maxima to a zero to 60 time of 5.8 seconds.

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