For fans of Japanese cars or JDM it’s quite difficult to forget the name Nissan Z series . The Japanese sports car has become one of the most iconic cars of all time ever made by Nissan. It’s no wonder that this car is always wanted by collectors in any part of the world.
But, do you know about the history of this Nissan Z series car? Well, this time we want to discuss a little about the Nissan Z series from time to time. What’s the origin?
First Generation Nissan Z Series
The story begins in the 1960s. In that era, Nissan thought about how to enter the international market. Because at that time they did not have a model that could really impress many people.
In 1961, Nissan also took Yamaha to cooperate. These two companies tried to design a car under the name Nissan Fairlady, which at that time was still a prototype model.
The first prototype from Nissan’s collaboration with Yamaha was named the YX-30. But unfortunately in 1964 this project with Yamaha failed. The 2000cc DOHC engine offered by Yamaha is considered unable to meet Nissan’s expectations.
Yutaka Katayama, President of Nissan America at that time tried to give advice to Nissan Japan to design a sports car. Because at that time sports cars were loved in America and Europe. The main goal was to shift the focus of consumers who at that time were in love with sports cars such as the Mustang, Camaro, Aston Martin DB or Jaguar E-Type.
The price of the sports car is very expensive, so not everyone can buy it. Nissan saw an opportunity to make a high-performance sports car at a lower price than the well-known sports car.
In 1969, Nissan finally released the Fairlady Z or Datsun 240Z . For the Japanese market, it is called the Fairlady Z. The car with the body code S30 comes with an engine capacity of 2,000 cc, inline 6 cylinder capable of producing 130 hp.
As for the American market, it is named the Datsun 240Z with the body code Z29. The engine uses a capacity of 2,400 cc, 6 cylinders in line with 151 hp. For the 240Z, use Hitachi SU’s double carburetor alerts.
The first generation of the Z series immediately succeeded in capturing the hearts of the American people at that time. Proven sales were able to reach 45 thousand units in 1969. The 240Z was finally replaced by the 260Z in 1974. The engine capacity was increased to 2,600 cc, 6 cylinders in line with 154 hp.
The model is now using an additional seat with a 2+2 model. The wheelbase is 30 cm longer as well as an update in the engine sector. Then in 1975 Nissan re-released the 280Z variant only for the North American market, which means it will not be found in other regions.
The engine uses a capacity of 2,800 cc, inline 6 cylinders that have used injection to replace the SU carburetor. Its power reaches 170 hp. This model is a model with the largest engine capacity of its time.
Second Generation Nissan Z Series
The second generation was born in 1978. Nissan gave a few changes to the exterior of the car with the body code S130 or Z30. At the front, the bumper no longer uses iron. Then on the side of the body there is a list of bodies made of rubber.
The engine used is taken from a 2,800 cc, 6 cylinder inline engine. It’s just that the transmission is updated from using 4 speeds to 5 speeds. The roof, which was previously made hardtop , is now in the second generation using the T-Top model, or semi-targa that can be removed just above the two seats.
In 1980, Nissan added a turbo option to the Z series. The power that can be produced reaches 180 hp with 275 Nm of torque for the turbo engine. While the non-turbo engine produces 135 hp and 195 Nm of torque. In that era, it was clear that the engine performance was above average, especially with the price offered much cheaper than other sports cars.
Nissan Z Series Third Generation
4 years later, in 1984 Nissan re-launched the latest generation of the Z series. This third generation is named Nissan 300ZX with body code Z31. The model is completely changed compared to the second generation.
Now it looks much more frightening, aggressive and gives the impression of a fast-powered sports car. The curves of his body began to appear using the pull of a stiff line. The engine uses a larger capacity, 3,000 cc, V6 for the first version.
The second version uses a 3,000 cc, V6 with an additional turbo. Non-turbo engine power reaches 160 hp and the turbo version reaches 200 hp for the Japanese market. As for the American market, its power reaches 228 hp.
This great power is generated from a longer cam duration with emissions that can be much suppressed. How is the public’s interest in this car? The answer is very successful poison the automotive enthusiast. Proven Nissan 300ZX able to sell as many as 70 thousand units for the United States market.
This third generation was produced from 1984 to 1989 before being replaced by the fourth generation Z series. In Indonesia, the 300ZX model is also a rare car. Its status in Indonesia is quite rare.
Nissan Z Series Fourth Generation
The next generation was born in 1990. The design has completely changed compared to the previous Z31. This generation with the Z32 body code no longer uses pop-up headlights, but uses a lamp model that is coated with glass from the outside.
The exterior design is also no longer boxed, it has started to curve and looks more beautiful. The engine used is still the same with a capacity of 3,000 cc, V6. It’s just that the changes are in the use of DOHC and VVT. So that the engine is capable of producing 222 hp of power with 268 Nm of torque naturally aspirated.
There is also a turbo engine version with twin turbo and dual intercooler. This turbo engine model has power up to 300 hp with 384 Nm of torque. For the size of a sports car in the 1990s, the Nissan 300ZX Z32 is one of the fastest cars available. Even Car and Driver magazine once named this car as One of The Best Ten Cars in The World.
What do you think, bro? The Z32 model was produced until 1996 and has sold over 80,000 units worldwide.
Nissan Z Series Fifth Generation
In 1999, Nissan released the fifth generation of the Z series. This fifth generation comes with the Z33 body code. The model is completely new, more rounded than the modern Fairlady we often see.
This year, a French company, Renault, bought a 44 percent stake in Nissan. Carlos Ghosn is the man behind the acquisition. Behind the acquisition, Ghosn has a vision that is quite big and crazy. That he wanted to make the Z series a car to be reckoned with and profitable for the company.
In 2001, Ghosn introduced the Z concept. In this debut, Nissan also used the bright orange color for the first time which has now become their hero color. This new design was produced by La Jolla, a design company from California, United States to replace the 300ZX model.
In 2002, Nissan officially introduced the 350Z as the next generation. This fifth generation Z series comes with a much bigger engine. Its capacity reaches 3,500 cc, V6-powered 287 hp with 371 Nm of torque.
The facelift version received an update in the engine sector in 2005. The engine power rose to 300 hp with 383 Nm of torque. The engine is paired with a 6-speed manual transmission and a 5-speed automatic, depending on consumer preference.
Initially the Nissan 350Z was present only in a 2-seater coupe model.
But a convertible model was also introduced a year after its launch. Production of the Z33 continued until 2007. In the last year, this model got another refresh in the engine sector. Its power reaches 306 hp with torque that is still the same.
Nissan Z Series Sixth Generation
In 2008, the sixth generation was launched again. The car with the body code Z34 is a refinement of the Nissan 350Z which comes with the name Nissan 370Z. The engine capacity is increased to 3,700 cc, the V6 is powered by 353 hp and 383 Nm of torque. The sixth generation Z series has also been named one of Nissan’s fastest cars.
The difference between the Z33 and the Z34 is easier to spot from the headlights and front bumper. Although the interior is slightly different, aesthetically it still looks the same and not much different.
Nissan Z Series Seventh Generation
The seventh generation of the Z series is still unclear. Because, Nissan only introduced a car with the name Z Proto as the successor to the baton from the 370Z. In terms of appearance, it is based on the old 370Z.
Regarding the engine, Nissan has also confirmed that the Z Proto will use an engine with a capacity of 3,000 cc, V6 twin turbo. The engine is capable of producing 400 hp with 474 Nm of torque. Sadistic! Throughout the generation of the Z series, Nissan continues to increase engine power in each generation.
Reportedly, the Z Proto will also be a car that is ready to go head-to-head with the Toyota Supra A90. But unfortunately, until now Nissan has not explained when this car will be officially sold. It’s just that foreign media have started to report a lot about this Z Proto trial.
Of all the generations of the Z series, which one do you think is the coolest?