Does an LS3-swap make this 350Z an instant winner? | #FastFriday

By Colin Wood
Jul 23, 2021 | Chevrolet, Honda, Nissan, Civic, #FastFriday, Ultimate Track Car Challenge, Corvette, 350z, z06

According to its builder, Bryan M. Settle, this LS3-powered 2003 Nissan 350Z-“ish” took over five years to build. Why so long? It’s more than just an engine swap, as the Nissan also features a right-hand-drive conversion that Bryan describes as “not a front clip swap but a complete engineering exercise.”

The question, though, is whether all that time and effort will translate to success in the 2021 Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge.

What is the Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge? It’s our annual no-holds-barred track competition. The rules are simple: Car and driver must pass a NASA safety inspection. Period.

Here’s a closer look at this week’s selections:

Bryan notes that the 350Z’s greatest strengths on track are grip and balance, which is a good combo to have when your track car is pushing out 489 horsepower and 487 lb.-ft. of torque.

Ben Grambau’s 2001 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 reads similar to our very own Corvette Z06 project car: LS3 power, bigger brakes, beefier suspension and a big ’ol wing to keep everything stuck to the track.

When your car weighs less than 2000 pounds, you don’t need that much horsepower, right? Mark Johnson disagrees. His 1995 Honda Civic hatchback makes 800 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft. of torque from its B-series engine.

View these cars, along with the rest of the field, on the UTCC website. If you think you have what it takes to win, enter your car here.

The Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge is presented by Tire Rack in association with Wilwood EngineeringHP TunersSPA Technique, FCP EuroXClutch and KW Suspensions, with trophies from BimmerWorld, Mantic ClutchFalken TireHoosier Tire and Mach V Motorsports.

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