Nissan 370Z Coupe

THE HISTORY OF NISSAN SPORTS CARS

SKYLINE 2000 GT-R TO SILVIA SPEC R AERO, AND BEYOND

The legacy of Nissan sports cars has been built over more than 50 years by more than 40 models. From the original Nissan Skyline to the modern GT-R, and the historical Fairlady Z to todays' 370Z, Nissan (formerly known as Datsun) has earned its reputation of being strong contenders on and off the track.

1971 Datsun 240Z car
An Early Z: The 1971 Datsun 240Z
2019 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition
The Latest Z: The 2019 Nissan 370Z® Heritage Edition

THE HISTORY OF THE NISSAN Z-CAR

Known for their distinct styling and reputation for power and performance at a competitive price, the Nissan Z-Cars have made their mark on the global sports car industry. The history of the Z-Car has taken an exhilarating road from the Datsun 240Z and Fairlady Z in 1969, through the 80s with the 300ZX, and into tomorrow with the 2019 370Z®.

Nissan Datsun 240Z Clay Modelling Team
Working on the final prototype of the Nissan 240Z Photo courtesy of Carl Beck
Nissan 240Z prototype during a trip to Calgary, Alberta
One of the two Nissan 240Z Prototypes that toured North America in 1969 and 1970 makes a stop in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.Photo courtesy of Carl Beck

THE Z-CAR IN POPULAR CULTURE

For more than 45 years Nissan (and its predecessor, the Datsun nameplate) and its Z-Car have been converting drivers into lifelong fans that extend across models and years. On the track, the original 240Z was popularized by the Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) and Bob Sharp Racing (BSR) Teams. By the mid-1980s, the 300ZX became the car of choice for Hollywood superstar and BSR racer Paul Newman, the star of films like Cool Hand Luke and The Hustler, whose performances behind the wheel are as legendary as those on the screen. The 300ZX partnered with another pair of Hollywood superstars in the 1987 film Blind Date, appearing throughout the film alongside stars Bruce Willis and Kim Basinger.

The 350Z has made appearances in number of films and television shows including Crank: High Voltage and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It can also be seen in several of the mega-successful Fast and Furious franchise movies including Fast & Furious in 2009 and Fast Five in 2011. A modified Fairlady Z33 (the Japanese name for the 350Z) is prominently featured in The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift as the ride of “The Drift King.”

The Datsun inspired 2019 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition rear

A Nissan Z-Car Owners Gallery

Nissan Fairlady Z owned by Justin M of Anchorage, AK

Nissan 350Z owned by Ahmed R of Washington, DC

Nissan 370Z owned by Alfred R of San Antonio, TX

Nissan 350Z owned by Brian M of Ann Arbor, MI

Nissan 240Z owned by Diego P of Lyndhurst, NJ

Nissan vehicles owned by Kevin H of Woodstock, GA

Nissan 370Z NISMO owned by Bill B of Oklahoma

Everything Z

Every year Datsun and Nissan Z enthusiasts and clubs from around the world celebrate the Z-Car at ZCON, an annual convention that was first held in 1987. ZCON is a celebration of all things Z whose success goes to show that the Nissan Z-Car are timeless classics that continue to excite even after they are no longer in production. Learn more about this year’s convention at the ZCON website.

31st Annual International ZCON Held in Atlanta, GA
ZCON 2018 - Atlanta GA | 31st Annual International ZCON Mid-October 2018

FIRST GENERATION OF 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.

First Generation of Z-Cars: Nissan Fairlady Z

NISSAN FAIRLADY Z

Launching in November of 1969, the Fairlady Z premiered the first generation of Z Cars in Japan. Manufactured for 9 years, the Fairlady Z earned international acclaim when it worked with its U.S. counterpart, the Datsun 240Z, to sell over 520,000 units – a record for sports cars within a single model.

FAIRLADY Z SPECIFICATIONS

  • Transmission: 5-speed, floor shift
  • Suspension: Strut (front & rear)
  • Engine Max. power: 118kW (160PS)/7,000rpm
  • Engine Max. torque: 177Nm (18kgm)/5,600rpm
  • Braking: Front disc/Rear drum
  • Curb Weight: 2,292 lbs.
  • Length: 162.0 in.
  • Wheelbase: 90.7 in.
  • Height: 50.7in.
  • Width: 64.2 in.

THE DATSUN 240Z

The Datsun 240Z came in high demand when it arrived on American soil in 1971. 2 years after its Japanese counterpart hit the roads, the 240Z brought with it a win in the 19th East-African Safari Rally and a price tag more than $1,000 less than its Volvo, Chevrolet, and Jaguar competitors.

DATSUN 240Z SPECIFICATIONS

  • Transmission: 4-speed manual (3-speed automatic optional)
  • Base Price: $3,626
  • Horsepower: 150 @ 6000 rpm
  • Torque: 148 pound-feet @ 4400 rpm
  • Engine: single-overhead-cam inline-6
  • Curb Weight: 2,238 lbs.
  • Length: 162.8 in.
  • Wheelbase: 90.7 in.
  • Quarter-mile 17.1 seconds @ 84.5 mph
First Generation of Z-Cars: Datsun 240Z
Nissan 280Z Released August 1978

THE NISSAN 280Z

The next of the Datsun Z-Cars to launch was the 280Z in August 1978. The new styling attracted interest, featuring the traditional long nose and short deck blended with sharper lines and a grille-less front end for a unified look. The 280Z was available as Z-L and Z-T, the latter equipped with standard air conditioning, power windows, and aluminum wheels.

NISSAN 280Z SPECIFICATIONS

  • Transmission: 5-speed, floor shift
  • Suspension (front, rear): Strut, semi trailing-arm
  • Engine Max. power: 107W (145PS)/5,200rpm
  • Engine Max. torque: 226Nm (23kgm)/4,000rpm
  • Engine: L28E (6-cyl. in line, OHC), 2,753cc
  • Curb Weight: 2,700 lbs.
  • Length: 174.0 in.
  • Wheelbase: 91.3 in.
  • Brakes (front, rear): Ventilated disc, disc

SECOND GENERATION: THE DATSUN 280ZX

Ten years after the initial Z-Car release, the Datsun 280ZX was introduced. Resembling its predecessors' exteriors, the 1979 Z-Car sported a new chassis and a markedly luxurious interior. The 280ZX offered a spoiler and unique design of the race inspired ZX-R. In 1980, it added an available T-top roof that was commonplace by the end of the year.

DATSUN 280X SPECIFICATIONS

  • Transmission: manual 5-speed gearbox
  • Suspension (front, rear): Strut, semi trailing-arm
  • Horsepower: 135-hp
  • Torque: 144 lb-ft
  • Engine: Nissan L28 gasoline (petrol) 2,753cc
  • Curb Weight: 2,936 lbs.
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel Drive
  • Wheelbase: 99.2 in.
  • Top Speed: 124 mph
  • Hatchback coupe
Second Generation of Z-Cars: The Datsun 280ZX
Nissan 300ZX: Winner of 1985 All Japan Rally Championships

THIRD GENERATION: THE NISSAN 300ZX 1983

The winning car of the 1985 All Japan Rally Championships, the Nissan 300ZX, was introduced to American markets in 1983. This third-generation Z (Z31) car brought with it standard air conditioning, leather upholstery, and offered an affordable entry point for sports car enthusiasts similar to its’ predecessors.

NISSAN 300ZX SPECIFICATIONS

  • Suspension (front, rear): Strut, semi trailing-arm
  • Engine Max. power: 169W (230PS)/5,200rpm
  • Engine Max. torque: 333Nm (34kgm)/3,600rpm
  • Engine: VG30ET (V6, OHC), 2,960cc
  • Curb Weight: 2921 lbs.
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel Drive
  • Wheelbase: 91.3 in.
  • Length: 170.6 in.
  • Width: 67.9 in.
  • Height: 50.9 in.

FOURTH GENERATION: THE NISSAN 300ZX 1989

The fourth-generation model, 300ZX (Z32), was launched in July 1989 and remained in production until 1996. It was both bold and beautiful with its wide, low-proportioned styling, distinctive front mask featuring headlights slanted at over 60 degrees, a lively silhouette, and the short overhang that accentuated its excellent maneuverability.

NISSAN 300ZX SPECIFICATIONS

  • Suspension (front, rear): Multilink
  • Engine Max. power: 206W (280PS)/6,400rpm
  • Engine Max. torque: 388Nm (39.6kgm)/3,600rpm
  • Engine: VG30DET (V6, DOHC), 2,960cc
  • Curb Weight: 3461.3 lbs.
  • Transmission: 5-speed MT
  • Wheelbase: 101.2 in.
  • Length: 178.1 in.
  • Width: 70.8 in.
  • Height: 59.4 in.
Fourth Generation of Z-Cars: Nissan 300X (Z32)
Fifth Generation of Z-Cars: Nissan 350Z

FIFTH GENERATION: THE NISSAN 350Z

The Nissan 350Z kicked off production for the 5th generation of Nissan Z-Cars in 2002 and ended the 6-year production hiatus in the US. Originally only made in a coupe, the 350Z roadster premiered for the 2004 model year. 350Z, with its’ sleek redesign of 240Z DNA, helped rejuvenate Nissan’s market presence going into the latter half of the decade.

NISSAN 350Z SPECIFICATIONS

  • Transmission: 6-speed close-ratio manual
  • Drivetrain: Rear Wheel Drive
  • Horsepower: 287 hp
  • Torque: 274 ft-lbs.
  • Brakes (front/rear): Disc
  • Curb Weight: 3,197 lbs.
  • Length: 169.60 in.
  • Wheelbase: 104.30 in.
  • Height: 51.90 in.
  • Width: 71.50 in.

TODAY: THE NISSAN 370Z

Informed by historical Nissan Z-Cars, the Nissan 370Z available in coupe and roadster models brings the legendary Z into the future. The 6th-gen sports car began production in 2009 and remains in American markets as a staple of the Nissan brand even 10 years later. Join the Nissan Z-Car Legacy by finding your 370Z.

NISSAN 370Z SPECIFICATIONS

  • Engine: 3.7-L DOHC 24-Valve V6 Aluminum Alloy
  • Horsepower: 332 HP
  • Torque: 270 lb-ft
  • Brakes (front/back): vented disc
  • Interior Volume: 51.6 cu. Ft.
  • Curb Weight: 3333 lbs.
  • Highway MPG: 26
  • City MPG: 17
The 2019 Nissan 370Z

2019 NISSAN 370Z® COUPE

Featured Vehicle

Nissan 370Z Coupe Heritage Edition in Black

Want To Stay In Touch?

Follow us or sign up for the lastest news and offers.