Nissan’s Z lineup comprises some of Japan’s most iconic sports cars, but they aren’t all equally great.
Nissan has always had a good sports car or two on the market to cater to the desires of car enthusiasts. Almost everyone who knows anything about cars is familiar with Nissan’s Z cars, SXs, and GT-Rs. In the late 1960s, Nissan, then known as Datsun, debuted the Z-car for the first time. No one imagined they were establishing an automotive empire that would go down in history with Godzilla, Katana Swords, and Sushi as a permanent icon of Japanese design and production. Unfortunately, in the 1970s, tastes changed, and Nissan had little choice but to go with the trend, changing its classic design on a regular basis to be current. As a result, both the engine and the chassis had to expand in size. Due to stringent early 1970s pollution regulations that robbed the car of performance, Nissan intended to market it as a “individual coupe” rather than a sports car.
Best Nissan Z Models
While not every Z has been a hit, this game-changing coupe has provided far more thrills than disappointments. With all of its fans and long-term viability, the Z is a car of extremes: when it’s good, it’s wonderful, but when it’s bad, it’s a snoozer. With that in mind, here are the 5 best and 5 worst Z cars manufactured in the last 50 years in terms of historical significance to both Nissan and the automotive industry.
5. 1969 Nissan 240Z (S30)
Because it was the first of the Zs, the 240Z, with its timeless angular design and the iconic Z432 that shared an engine with the Skyline GT-R, can be skipped. The first 240Z garnered attention as a durable, robust sports car with effortlessly attractive Euro-inspired appearance from the minute it reached the streets in 1969.
With excellent handling, it demonstrates to the rest of the world that Japanese automakers are capable of producing true sports cars. Many consider the earliest Z cars to be among the most attractive sports cars ever created.
4. 1990 Nissan 300ZX (Z32)
The second-generation 300ZX was another Z family pioneer, providing outstanding driving characteristics to the brand. Its most prominent feature was sharing headlamps with the Lamborghini Diablo. The 300ZX, as the first and last turbocharged Fairlady, was a fantastic pleasure to drive when it debuted on the sports car market in 1990.
The ultra-modern Z32 showcased the company’s ability to create a world-class, high-tech performance car. Thanks to great build quality, a rigorous development process, and outstanding performance, the Z32 earned an instant classic status the moment the first unit left the factory floor.
3. 2007 Nissan 350Z
Nissan and its new sponsor, Renault, have announced that the Z logo would be revived after almost a decade. This Z, which was launched in 2002, was powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 287 horsepower and lacked the turbochargers of the previous model.
This was enough to push it to 60 mph in less than six seconds, a record in the early 2000s. In 2007, they increased the power of the 350Z to a maximum of 306 horsepower. The hi-po 350Z is distinguished by its tiny power bulge on the bonnet, which was similar to that of its competitors at the time.
2. 2009 Nissan 370Z (Z34)
This new Fairlady, which took over the Z reins from the 350Z, delivered a V6 engine with a displacement increase from 3.5 to 3.7 litres, just like it says on the box. 332 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque were produced by the new V6 engine.
The 370Z was able to achieve a 0-100 km/h time of under five seconds thanks to its lighter platform and beefier power unit. It was also a bargain at about $30,000 when ordered as a base model.
1. 2014 Nissan 370Z Nismo
In 2009, the 370Z, the next generation of modern Z cars, was unveiled. A track-ready version of the 370Z was produced by Nissan’s NISMO division, which competes with BMW’s M division. Several substantial chassis changes are included in the Nismo version.
Shocks, springs, and anti-roll bars have been changed, as well as larger brakes, stickier tyres, and reworked aero. Also, the output has been raised to 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. The Z car had finally been completed by Nissan!