The Nissan 300ZX was filled with all kinds of tech that might have ultimately doomed the iconic car.
The Nissan 300ZX had two main models. The first Nissan 300ZX was made from 1983 to 1989, and that model was called the Z31, then the 1990 to 2000 model was called the Z32. The Z32 Nissan 300ZX was a very high-tech car for its time, even now, cars in 2020 don't have all the bells and whistles as the mighty Nissan 300ZX did.
The Nissan 300ZX Z32 had a 3.0-litre twin-turbo engine called the VG30DETT, legend has it that the "VG" stands for V6, "30" being a 3.0-litre, the "D" stands for Dual overhead camshafts, "E" for electronic fuel injection and the "TT" for twin-turbo, but whatever it stands for, the Nissan 300ZX has a monster of an engine. But a 3.0-litre Nissan engine was nothing new at this point, what made this engine so high-tech was the inclusion if Nissans NVTC which stands for Nissan Variable Timing Control. Sound familiar? Yup, the most famous version of valve timing is Honda's VTEC system. In a much similar sense, standard engines are not able to change its valve timing depending on the RPM range they are running at. Changing the valve timing offers more power throughout the RPM range. What Nissan did with the 300ZX was redesign the camshaft pully gears, and engineered a system that allows the pully to literally change the gears of the camshaft depending on what is needed at a specific RPM to make more power.
On top of all that, the Nissan 300ZX offers a twin-turbo set up that consists of two Garret T25 turbos which cranks the 300ZX to 300HP and 283 FT-LB of torque, which even today is a lot of power. Much like the Nissan Skyline GTR's, the Nissan 300ZX Z32 also featured four-wheel steering which drastically helped with handling, cornering and preventing understeer and oversteer at high-speed track racing.
Another revolutionary aspect of the high-tech Nissan 300ZX was its headlights. If you were to look at a 300ZX's lights now, you'd probably say its no big deal, but back in the late 80s when Nissan was developing the 300ZX, pop-up headlights were the mainstream. Why pop-up headlights were so popular was not because it was a fashion and styling statement, they had a purpose, they allowed the car to be a lot more streamlined. Following the angled aerodynamic shape of the front of the car would be far too costly for engineers to develop, so pop-up headlights were much more attractive to automotive manufacturers. But Nissan thought otherwise and managed to develop a headlight design that would work with projector bulbs and still be streamlined at a design angle of 60-degrees. Nissan's 300ZX headlight design was such a success that Lamborghini paid royalties to Nissan to have their headlights in the Lamborghini Diablo.
With all Nissan's high-tech equipment in the 300ZX, it has proven to be a nightmare car to own and work on, with parts becoming more and more scarce, and mechanics with the skills to work on these specific cars are also hard to find. But Nissan created something really special with the 300ZX Z32 that still catches the attention of car enthusiasts almost 30 years later.
Take a look at the video below by YouTube channel, Donut Media, on the tech that doomed the Nissan 300ZX.
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