The Nissan Z made its first appearance on Japanese roadways in October 1969. Back then, it was known as the Nissan Fairlady Z. Demands from enthusiasts encouraged the Japanese automaker to export the sports car. In North America, the sports car was better known as the Datsun 240Z. Here’s a quick look back at where the modern Nissan370Z got its roots.
The Fairlady Z was initially released with a 2.0-liter six-cylinder engine for the 1970 model year. Shortly after, the Datsun 250Z made its way to the United States with a 2.4-liter six-cylinder engine under the hood. The sports car saw instant success with more than 45,000 units sold in the United States during its first year on the market.
The Nissan 280ZX and Datsun 280ZX marked the second-generation Nissan Z. These models saw more than 86,000 units leave the dealership in their first year on the market. It also earned Motor Trend’s coveted “Import Car of the Year” title in 1979. Premium features, like leather seats and gold alloy wheels, set the sports car apart from the competition.
1984 saw a whole new world for the Nissan Z. The Datsun branding was dropped and all subsequent models were sold with the Nissan badge. The 1984 Nissan 300ZX boasted a 3.0-liter V6 engine and pop-up headlights. Like in the second generation, premium features were featured at affordable prices for the third generation.
The fourth-generation Nissan Z hit the road running in 1990. The Nissan 300ZX drew comparisons to much more expensive sports cars, such as the Chevrolet Corvette. The model boasted 220 horsepower. An increase in price saw sales dive, leading to the Nissan Z’s withdrawal from North America in 1996.
The fifth-generation Nissan Z returned in 2003 with the 350Z sports car. The two-seater boasted a V6 engine that delivered 287 horsepower and more modern styling.
2009 saw the release of the Nissan 370Z, also known as the current Nissan Z model. A sportier look and powerful 3.7-liter V6 engine continue to uphold the model’s reputation as a premier sports car. Its affordable pricing and continuation of premium features make it an appealing model.
Check out the modern Nissan Z today at Bates Nissan.