If you're a fan of cars at all you'll most probably have a soft spot for at least one generation of Nissan Z car!
Back in the early 1960s, Nissan upped their game and bought over the Prince Motor Company, which previously held the rights to the Gloria as well as the Skyline names! And, on top of that, Nissan was ready to build a sportscar that would both offer the driver a full-on performance experience and not break the bank.
What Nissan developed was a 2.4-litre inline-6 sports car that had a low centre of gravity, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive, fantastic looks and of course the performance as well. Nissan named this car the 240Z, or Fairlady Z, depending on where you're from. This little JDM classic would go on to be highly successful and ultimately define who Nissan was as a company. The first-generation Nissan Z was produced from 1969 to 1977.
During the mid-1970s, Nissan released the 260Z and the 280Z, which were virtually identical to the original 240Z. But, as you guessed it, with a bigger 2.6 litre inline 6 and a 2.8-litre variant respectively, with the 280Z featuring full injection, a first for the S30 Z range.
In 1978-1983 Nissan produced the second generation with the S130 280ZX which featured a far more luxurious interior, and the later models also received a turbo.
During this time, however, Nissan was under pressure from its competitors like Mazda and Toyota who, at the time, were producing more desirable and modern cars. Nissan had to up their game and they sure did, with the third generation Z which was the Nissan Z31 300ZX which was the first Z car to feature a V6.
And then, all of a sudden the 1990s hit, and we all know what that meant! Nissan gave their beloved award-winning sports car a facelift with the fourth-generation Z, the 3.0-litre variable valve timing twin-turbo V6 Z32 300ZX.
After the Z32 300ZX, Nissan took somewhat of a break from the Z name for some time. It wasn't until 2002 that we saw yet another Z car roll off the Nissan production line. This time, Nissan was almost showing off that they still had what it takes to make a true JDM sports car with the release of the Z33 350Z which would go on to become Nissan's most famous Z car of all time. The Nissan 350Z featured a naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6, rear-wheel-drive and a manual gearbox.
With the 350Z being out for quite some time, it was time for Nissan to book the Z33 in for a facelift. In 2009, Nissan released the new and updated 370Z, which featured a bigger 3.7-litre naturally aspirated engine, more refined and modern interior and was also available in an automatic gearbox. The Nissan 370Z would go on to be manufactured until 2021.
So what's next? Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year or so, you would have noticed Nissan hinting at yet another Z car. The next Z sports car will be the seventh generation and has been confirmed for 2022 and it is already loved by millions of enthusiasts around the world, and how you ask? Well, it's going to be available in manual transmission, rear-wheel-drive and has a V6 under the hood!
Take a look at the video below by the YouTube channel: Ideal Media on The Evolution of the Nissan Z (240Z, 300ZX, 350Z, 370Z 400Z).
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