Evil ZED


APS Intercooled Twin Turbo 350Z
The Devil made them do it - this twin-huffer Zed is now pure evil

Is this the best aftermarket turbocharger installation I've ever plonked my big, hairy butt in? I've kept myself busy plundering what's left of my brain cells to think of a better one, but I can't.

See, all too often aftermarket forced induction can wind up feeling disturbingly home-made. Even a power-up of an existing factory turbo motor can go all wrong in the hands of a well-meaning workshop, leaving you with a twitchy, undriveable son-of-a-diddly (copyright Ned Flanders) with iffy legal status and questionable long-term and short-term reliability. But when you're bolting a pair of turbos onto a tightly packaged, highly strung, factory V6, well... it can all go horribly arse-shaped.

Then came that phone call from Peter Luxon of Victoria's APS Engineering (APS). Such chats usually elicit a little tingle of the neck hairs because they often involve a day out in some improbably powerful WRX, or XR6 Turbo, with enough torque to peel back hot mix. And when the conversation starts with Pete saying something like, "You've gotta drive this thing. It'll blow you away," the tingle can migrate south pretty fast.

When you think about it, Nissan's 350Z was always a candidate for a knacker-sac injection, partly because it's got the basic chassis for it, but mostly because it's got the right bloody attitude, too.

It's also a hot seller in the big ol' US of A, which is where Luxon can see big ol' dollar signs. And that's why this mule is a left-hooker. The kit's engineered to fit both left-hand and right-hand drives, with complete commonality of parts - 197 brand newies, to be precise, once you've counted clips, washers and seals.

Now here's the interesting bit. The kit is fitted without lifting the cylinder heads or altering the engine's internals in the slightest. Yep, you still get the factory Zed's 10.3:1 compression ratio, which might seem monstrously high for a turbo charged car, but the rub-off is that boost can be kept to a very manageable 7psi - and you retain all the standard car's low-end driveability, which is considerable.