The Z car is perhaps the most iconic sports car Nissan has ever made. Its history dates back to October 1969, when it debuted in Japan as the Nissan Fairlady Z. When the Z was exported overseas, it was called the Datsun 240Z. The masses have loved this line since its inception, resulting in its continuous production for decades.
Nissan’s Z car is remarkable because it beautifully combines style, performance and speed at a relatively affordable price; you’ll be hard-pressed to find other coupes in its class that are this outstanding and cost less than $ 30,000. The Z has slowly changed over the years to keep up with its demand and maintain its edge.
Here’s a look at the history and evolution of the Nissan Z car.
Nissan Fairlady Z and Datsun 240Z
The Nissan Fairlady Z began as a quest to create a halo car for the brand that would boost its image among consumers. It was sold for the 1970 model year in October 1969 with two iterations. The Nissan Fairlady Z, was intended for the Japanese market. It had a 2.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine and its name reflected the Datsun Sports roadster that preceded it.
The American version of the car, the Datsun 240Z, was first released on October 2, 1969. It had a 2.4-liter inline six-cylinder engine and Hitachi carburetors producing 151 hp. Audiences loved its sporty looks and speed, and the car received a warm reception in the US More than 45,000 Datsun 240Zs were sold in its first year on the market. It continued to sell well for the 1972 and 1973 model years, prompting Nissan to tweak it a bit and release an updated model in 1974, the 260Z. This Z car had a 2.6-liter engine and was available with a 2 + 2 body.
Another version of the first generation of Z cars, the 280Z, debuted in 1975 in the US and was the first to use a Bosch fuel injection system. This change offset the weight of its additional features and larger bumpers and allowed the car to hit 170 hp.
Second generation 280ZX / S130
The Nissan 280ZX retained the use of the Fairlady label in Japan and was the Datsun 280ZX in the United States. This model ushered in the second generation of the Z car and had more luxurious features like climate control, leather seats, headlight washers, two-tone paint, and gold alloy wheels. During its first year on the market, the 280ZX sold more than 86,000 units, which was a sales record. He was also recognized as Engine trend1979 “Import Car of the Year”. This version of the Z car put aesthetics and luxury features over driving speed and performance, which most of the public did not care for. Some sports car fans, however, expressed concern about where the car changes.
Third generation 300ZX / Z31
In 1984, Nissan decided to completely revamp the Z car and included its new 3.0-liter V6 engine in the design. The third generation of the model would also mark the downfall of the Datsun label, and all Z cars thereafter were sold under the Nissan name in all markets. In addition to a new engine, the 300ZX and 300ZX Turbo had a different aesthetic than previous versions of the Z car. The bodywork was wedge-shaped and had pronounced headlights. The trend for over-the-top luxury features continued with this version of the model, and the 300ZX even had the option of including seats that vibrated along with the music being played in the car. Still, the car remained popular and sold well. In 1987, the 300ZX was redesigned to soften its lines, but the car remained largely unchanged until the 1990s.
Fourth generation 300ZX / Z32
From 1990 to 1996 the fourth generation of the Nissan Z was produced, and it underwent radical changes in terms of style, power and performance. This marked an exotic turn for the model, and the 300ZX was compared to the Corvette and Porsche 928 S4 due to its markedly improved performance and handling. The 1990 biturbo version of the 300ZX was awarded the “Import Car of the Year” title from Engine trend, and the public fell in love with his impressive appearance.
In addition to looking great, the fourth generation 300ZX had a lot of speed. It was capable of producing 220 hp, significantly more than the 1989 Z model. Its heavier weight was the only criticism made of this version of the Z car, but it was so comfortable that few seemed to care. Despite all its beauty and great features, this Nissan Z was more expensive …