The legacy of Nissan sports cars has been built over more than 50 years with more than 40 models. Some of Nissan's sports cars include: the original Nissan Skyline, the modern GT-R, the historical Fairlady Z, the Nissan 350Z, and the newly unveiled Nissan Z. Nissan has earned its reputation of being strong contenders on and off the track.
The Nissan Z-car is known for their distinct styling and reputation for power and performance at a competitive price. The history of the Z-Car has taken an exhilarating road from the Datsun 240Z and Fairlady Z from Japan in 1969, through the 80s with the 300ZX, 2000s with the 350Z, 2010s with the 370Z, and into tomorrow with the current Nissan Z.
The Z-Series began in late 1969 (for the 1970 model year) with the Nissan Fairlady Z in Japan and the Datsun 240Z in the US. Its introduction was the culmination of 3 years of research and design that successfully looked to create a modern-styled, two-seater 6-cylinder coupe for the North American market.
Launching in 1969, the Fairlady Z premiered the first generation of Z Cars. Also known as Datsun 240Z or "Z-car", the FairladyZ was manufactured for 9 years, as a representative car of Nissan all over the world. It sold more than 520,000 units, a record for sports cars within a single model.
The 1970 Datsun 240Z (a.k.a. the Nissan S30 or Fairlady Z) reached American soil in high demand circa 1969. Part of the first generation of Z-Cars, the 240Z brought with it a win in the 19th East-African Safari Rally.
A second generation Z (S130), was launched in 1978 as a 1979 model year. The new interior and exterior styling of the Datsun 280ZX attracted much interest and offered a higher level of luxury to meet the growing demands of the sports car customer. The 280ZX offered four wheel disc brakes, a 2+2 model, a Turbo model and the first offering of T-tops on a Z.
Nissan 300ZX (Z31)
The Fairlady Z evolved into the third generation Z31 in 1983. 300ZX was introduced to American markets in 1983 and produced through to 1989. This third-generation Z-Car (Z31) brought with it standard air conditioning, leather upholstery, and offered an affordable entry point for sports car enthusiasts similar to its’ predecessors. The hottest topic was newly designed turbo V6 engine. The winning car of the 1985 All Japan Rally Championships, it was an outright sales success for Nissan.
Nissan 300ZX (Z32)
The fourth generation Fairlady Z (Z32) or known as the Nissan 300ZX, was released in 1989. It was both bold and beautiful with its wide, low-proportioned styling, distinctive front end featuring headlights slanted at over 60 degrees, a lively silhouette, and the short overhang that accentuated its excellent maneuverability and increased performance.
The Nissan 350Z, a two-door, two-seater sports car, kicked off production for the fifth generation of Nissan Z-Cars 2002 and ended the 6-year production hiatus in the US. 350Z, with its’ sleek redesign of 240Z DNA, helped rejuvenate the Nissan market presence going into the latter half of the decade.
In production from 2009 to present, the 2010 Nissan 370Z coupe was a staple of the Nissan vehicle lineup. Built with a V6 engine and an available 7-speed automatic transmission, exquisite performance has been jam-packed into its sleek and refined aerodynamic frame. What is next for the Nissan Z?
Nissan 370Z roadster
The Nissan 370Z roadster was noted for it's outstanding performance during the independent media group's annual "Topless in Miami" event. The Nissan 370Z was noted for its styling, ease of its convertible top operation, quietness and performance. More than two dozen vehicles were included in the annual event, in which vehicles are judged in various categories. The 370Z Roadster convertible was produced for nearly 10 years.
2024 Nissan Z
The 2024 Nissan Z serves up classic sports car proportions of a long hood and a short rear deck. Staying true to its performance roots, and iconic Z styling elements, it creates a complete modern design That's not all, the Nissan Z has a powerful 6-cylinder under the hood; a Front Midship, and a rear-wheel-drive design that places the engine farther back in the chassis for enhanced balance.
The Nissan Z with a manual transmission and twin turbo V6 engine is the future of the Z-Car lineage. With inspiration taken from over 50 years of careful composition, the next-in-line to hold the title of a Nissan Z-Car is just that—unmistakably Z.
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