The history of Nissan sports cars

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 [[1497]]. Nissan has earned its reputation of being strong contenders on and off the track.

Nissan Z Proto

Nissan Z[[1497]]

Blue Nissan 370Z

2020 Nissan 370Z (Sold Out)

The history of the Nissan Z-car

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 all-new Nissan Z. [[1497]]

The Evolution of the Z-Car

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.

Nissan Fairlady Z

First Generation

Fairlady Z

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.

Nissan Datsun 240Z

First Generation

Datsun 240Z

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.

Nissan Datsun 280Z

Second Generation

Datsun 280ZX

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 First Model

Third Generation

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 Second Model

Fourth Generation

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.

Nissan 350Z

Fifth Generation

Nissan 350Z

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. 

Nissan 370Z

Sixth Generation

Nissan 370Z

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 Z Roadster

Sixth Generation

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.

Nissan Z Proto

Seventh Generation

2023 Nissan Z

The all-new 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 all-new 2023 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. [[1497]]

Nissan Z [[1497]]

New Nissan Z

Nissan is reawakening the Power of Z. [[1497]]

Compare Nissan Z-Car Specs

Fairlady Z

Fairlady Z

Transmission: 4-speed manual 
Suspension: Strut (front & rear)
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.

Datsun 240Z

Datsun 240Z

Transmission: 4-speed manual (3-speed automatic optional)
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.

Datsun 280ZX

Datsun 280ZX

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.
Hatchback coupe

Datsun 300ZX Z31 First Model

Nissan 300ZX (Z31)

Suspension (front, rear): Strut, semi trailing-arm
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. [[258]]

Datsun 300ZX Z32 Second Model

Nissan 300ZX (Z32)

Suspension (front, rear): Multilink
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.

350Z

Nissan 350Z

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.

Z Roadster

Nissan Z Roadster

Engine: 3.7-liter DOHC 24-valve V6
Horsepower: 332 HP
Torque: 270 lb-ft
Brakes (front/back): vented discs
Curb Weight: 3,494 Lbs.

Black Nissan 370Z

Nissan 370Z

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.

A Nissan Z-car owners gallery

Featured Vehicles

2020 Nissan 370Z Coupe

Nissan 370Z® Coupe

From the battle cry of a legendary 332-hp, VQ V6, to the available rev-matching manual transmission, the Nissan 370Z® Coupe thrills. The relentless cornering grip of a dynamically balanced chassis talking to you through a driver-focused cockpit. But it’s more than just carbon fiber composite and 19" forged alloy wheels – it has soul. The 2020 Nissan 370Z. Pure exhilaration from A to Z, this is tech that moves.

2023 Nissan Z

Nissan Z[[1497]]

The all-new 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. [[1497]]

Material in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and was accurate as of the date of first publication. Information is subject to change and does not constitute an offer, representation or warranty (express or implied) by Nissan North America, Inc. ("Company"). Interested parties should confirm the accuracy of any information in this website as it relates to a vehicle directly with Company before relying on it to make a purchase decision. Unless expressly referenced, Company does not endorse and is not affiliated with any company that might be mentioned in this article. Company is not responsible or liable for the availability of links to websites or resources, or for any content, advertising, products, services, privacy policies, or other materials on or available through these websites or resources, or for your reliance thereon. Any references to data or products are subject to change without notice. Trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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