Nissan 300ZX is a model designation for the third and fourth generations of Nissan Z cars that began with the 240Z in 1969. The 300ZX was manufactured from 1983 through the 2000 model years, though in the United States, the model was discontinued in 1996. The 300ZX is a two passenger or 2+2 sports coupe with high performance and great handling. It is powered by a 3.0 liter V-6 in both single-overhead-cam and double-overhead-cam versions, normally aspirated or turbocharged. The horsepower output ranges from 160 to 300, depending upon the engine iteration. The transmissions offered are either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.
The third generation Z car, designated internally by Nissan as Z31, was manufactured from the 1984 through 1989 model years. This Z31 was more popular than its successor, the Z32, selling over 100,000 more vehicles than the fourth generation vehicle. Engine power output was a respectable 160-165 normally aspirated horses or 200-205 for the turbocharged single overhead cam power plant. The vehicle was quite luxurious, with comfortable seats and upscale audio systems, air conditioning, power windows, power steering and brakes.
For the 1990 model year, the 300ZX was completely redesigned. The result was what many enthusiasts believe to be the most beautiful Z car ever made, possibly the best looking sports car ever seen. The engine power was increased for all versions of the now double-overhead-cam mill. The base engine produced 222 horsepower, while the twin-turbo engine topped out at 300 horses. The car was quick and handled wonderfully, with loads of roadway feedback for the driver. The Z32 was Motor Trend Magazine's Car of the Year", and Automobile Magazine's "Design of the Year" and one of their top ten "All Stars". Road and Track Magazine called the new 300ZX one of their "Top-Ten-Cars in the World". Car and Driver Magazine named the 300ZX to their "Ten Best" list every year during its seven years of production for the United States.
The 300ZX was both a two-seater and a 2+2, but in 1993, Nissan added a convertible to the line for the first time in the Z car's history. T-tops were standard on the coupe. The rising value of the yen versus the dollar doomed the 300ZX. The list prices rose to more than $50,000 base price, far too much for the American market, so the line was dropped in the US in 1996. Several years later, the Z Car returned in the form of the 350Z.
... View more