Nissan Fairlady Z

12 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Nissan Fairlady Z
Nissan Fairlady Z

(1969)

S WWII, the global sports car had been dominating by British for 20 years. They shifted of thousands of MG, Triumph, Healey and every year to the world’s sportscar market, the USA. By the their domination was being by Alfa Romeo and Fiat. the worst nightmare did not come Italy but the place where sun #8211; Japan. The 1960s was a decade to Japanese car manufacturers.

cheap econo cars proved popular in USA and production during the decade. Now they pursuing a higher degree of from the West. To that what could be better building a world-class sports

The first to accomplish that was the 1969 Nissan Fairlady Z, was known as Datsun 240Z

The birth of 240Z was driven by Katayama, the boss of Nissan USA and now known as the father of Z-cars. In he visited the RD department in Japan HQ, the chief engineer and designer to a stunning sports car instead of making cheap economy forever.

His words moved and, having committed to the top that he could sell cars a month in America, the got greenlight with project Z. 4 years later, the production car on sale. It was called Fairlady Z at its market following the tradition of sports cars (note: had been building the unremarkable roadster series since But Mr.

K preferred a stronger name for market and called it 240Z where the number represented its displacement.

The original Z-car was Its styling was probably influenced by an study prototype penned by Goertz, who was renowned for BMW 507 and then had a stint at Nissan until #8211; and that led to the speculation it was designed by Goertz. However, the car was inspired by the contemporary Ferraris that 250GTO proportion?) and E-type, as well as perhaps 2000GT.

Anyway, it was by no means a Nissan studio should be that they created a car looked not only original but far modern than its nearest MG, Triumph and Fiat, and would be to the more expensive Jaguar and

The upmarket look was supported modern technologies, such as suspensions by means of MacPherson up front Chapman struts at the front disc brakes, gearbox (on Japanese and European at least) and an SOHC straight-six producing 151 gross horsepower. It was of 0-60 mph in 8 seconds or so, and reaching a top of 125 mph, both by far exceeding the of MGB, Triumph TR6, Romeo Duetto/Spider and Fiat 124

The 240Z was praised by road for not only good performance but good handling and roadholding. Its steering was quick, accurate and if quite heavy. Its low-speed was rather firm, but things markedly at speed. Its chassis was benefited by a near 50:50 distribution.

The six-cylinder engine was smoother and quieter than its counterparts at cruising speed. All made it a fun drive as well as an companion.

Such a combination of sophistication and beauty was unheard in the sportscar market. No wonder the was immediately a hit in the USA. From to 1978, the first generation sold 550,000 copies with 80,000 units of in Japan and the vast majority of the bought by American motorists. Its US reached as high as 70,000 a year, becoming a miracle for export.

Such success led to the extinction of MG, Triumph and the sports car of Fiat.

In the US market, the original engine was enlarged to 2.6-liter in and 2.8-liter in 1975 to offset the effects of tightening emission and requirements. The resultant cars 260Z and 280Z. 1971 3-speed automatic transmission as an

1974 saw the addition of 2+2 model, had a longer wheelbase and a less fastback to accommodate a pair of rear seats. These widened its customer portfolio and sales, though making the car sportier than originally The first generation S30 was so popular its successors would never it.

280ZX was a common sight in my but it had never caught my heart. did it impress motoring journalists of its The car had two problems: firstly, it did not look as as the original 240Z.

It was made and slimmer to the extent that as as Kate Moss. Furthermore, its B-pillars and T-bar roof which most buyers added a sense of flamboyance to the of purists.

The second problem its change of development direction. the original 240Z was a pure car, the 280ZX became a GT. It had more interior space in the more popular 2+2 body), noise insulation, more equipment and multi-adjustable seats. It was more comfortable and refined to for long distance. Unfortunately, also resulted in more

As the 2.8-liter straight-six was practically the as that on the last 280Z, the same 135 net horsepower, performance a slight setback. By the time of 1970s, few people would get with a 0-60 mph time of 9 Later cars got turbocharging to output to 180 hp, but that was too late to its reputation.

Its driving dynamics suffered from cost The 280ZX shared a number of components with the contemporary Bluebird, most notably its arm rear suspensions and recirculating-ball steering. They were of the reasons for its mediocre handling.

roadholding and resistance to body seemed good, the car was hampered by a ride, more understeer and a forgiving behavior at the limit. Its steering delivered less yet it was quick and light to the extent of especially when subjected to The now outdated straight-six spun and quietly below 4000 but its noise got intrusive afterwards and be eventually reluctant to spin to

Moreover, the gearshift was stiff and thus the car was enjoyable to drive on open roads.

Rising yen the 280ZX was no longer a bargain as the used to be, but still it offered content and luxury than a 924 or a Corvette. A great car it might not be, the knew how to catch the hearts of public with its flamboyant and luxury features. That’s why its continued rising, peaking at units in 1979.

That was also to be the all-time for the Fairlady series.

W hen 300ZX was launched in 1983, Nissan it had a top speed of 250 km/h (155 Although this was proved to be off the mark later on by European testers, its true potential of 143 mph km/h) still earned it the of the fastest production car in Japan.

The continued the luxury GT route of but it improved markedly in styling and Its new body shell was shaped sharper and more up to date, a fast-angle bonnet, flush and clean lines to mark a big from the 1970s. It was also slippery, with a drag of only 0.31, down the previous 0.39.

The stylish headlights were its signatures. Not so were the two-tone color and pseudo intake on the bonnet. might please boy racers, but did not the role of luxury GT.

Fortunately cars had them discarded.

abandoned the long-serving straight-six, the employed a new VG30ET turbocharged V6. It offered 230 horsepower and 242 pound-foot of (American version offered 200 more than anything at its range. Its single overhead and 2 valves per cylinder were not advanced, ditto the lack of but at least it got electronic ignition and injection.

The engine ran a low boost of 0.5 bar and a low, 7.3:1 compression That’s why in real-world driving its punch was rather weak. It lacked an explosive mid-range characterized many turbo of the time (e.g. Mitsubishi but on the plus side its power was more linear and easier to

That said, the V6 was not very to rev towards 6000 rpm.

it was better looking and much than 280ZX, European testers were not very with the 300ZX. Its American-biased and bulkiness failed to inspire the like Porsche 944 or Lotus Its controls succeeded many of 280ZX, such as a numb steering (despite of the switch to type) and a ponderous gearchange.

However, the tricky at-the-limit of its predecessor was corrected, at least on dry The use of adjustable dampers gave the a choice of soft, normal and ride settings, although quite hit the sweet spot.

Nissan Fairlady Z

The no longer enjoyed an easy like its predecessors as more rivals joined the battleground, as the aforementioned Mitsubishi Starion the second generation Mazda (1985) and Toyota Supra (1987). The 1982 Pontiac and Chevrolet Camaro twins stronger oppositions than ditto the new Corvette C4. That the Fairlady had to introduce updates frequently.

In Japan, a cheaper called 200ZR joined the with new RB20DET engine an advanced 2-liter 24-valve turbo good for 180 hp. In late the whole range received a facelift (pictured above) saw all its sharp edges and wheel smoothened and its taillights modernized. new model 300ZR introduced a naturally-aspirated VG30DE engine 190 hp.

It helped relieving the pressure on turbo, whose output had reduced to 195 hp in the domestic market due to emission. Nevertheless, by now the Fairlady had the title of the fastest Japanese car to Supra Turbo. A full was desperately needed.

1989 was a and fruitful year to the Japanese industry as it launched a trio of performance cars #8211; MX-5, Nissan Skyline and 300ZX (codenamed Z32). the fourth generation Z-car not match the other two for historical it would be remembered as one of the most cars Japan had ever as well as the first ever GT that punched Porsche to the boxing corner. More so the original 240Z, it shocked the sports car industry and changed the of sports car buyers all over the

No matter in styling, perceived quality, technology or performance, the Z32 was a quantum leap from its as well as the contemporary standards of sports cars / grand Its new design was truly groundbreaking, artistic, futuristic and impeccable. Its fitted body panels and delivered the highest perceived quality not even Zuffenhausen manage.

Its all-multi-link suspensions, electronic and computer-controlled Super HICAS steering system made the Porsche 944 looked terribly Best of all, its VG30DETT V6 got high-tech ingredients like 24 valves, intake variable timing and a pair of low-inertia T25 turbochargers to produce massive #8211; 300 horsepower at 6400 rpm and 283 of torque at 3600 rpm.

It from rest to 60 mph in just 5 seconds, reaching the electronic top speed of 155 mph effortlessly. Good to scare a 944 Turbo. What’s it cost a great deal to buy.

Porsche should be worried.

The non-turbo version slow either. Its 222 hp output matched the old 300ZX turbo. It was to complete 0-60 mph sprint in 7 and flat out at 148 mph. In other the same performance as 944 S2.

That was an achievement considering the Nissan was more accommodative hence Meanwhile, enhanced performance had not its strength as a good grand It offered a relatively spacious (especially in 2+2 version), comfortable modern switch gears, everything and a T-bar roof.

Its also suited the role of GT. The turbocharged or not, displayed and body control that embarrass Porsche. It cornered and produced higher g-force in corners. Pushed it really on a race track and it understeered.

off suddenly or gave it a bigger and it would oversteer, but the breakaway was to control. The Super HICAS, as on the Skyline GT-R, counter-steered the wheels at corner entry to turn-in response, then to the same direction as the fronts to mid-bend stability. It certainly some of the inherent bulkiness of the

Likewise, the speed-sensitive power offered a desirable lightness at and a reassuring weighting at higher The adjustable suspension rode even in the softest mode, but acceptable for a high-performance car.

What the 300ZX fell of Porsche 944, or to less my favourite Renault Alpine was its handling on mountain roads, road imperfections could its dynamic stability. Pushed it and hit a mid-corner bump could in an unpredictable slide. This it was not as confident inspiring to drive on roads than its rivals. its extra size and weight made it less confident to into narrow mountain

Neither did its relatively lack of feel help the matter. cornering prowess it might its driver was unlikely to exploit its to the full on B-roads. No wonder American magazines were with it, British magazines rated it at the top of the class.

Admittedly, the top priority was to please the USA market. It that soundly.

Before the of new Toyota Supra and Mazda Mk3, it won nearly all the comparison conducted by American magazines. should make it the most of all Z-cars, shouldn’t it? Unfortunately, love affair with GTs down during the 1990s the recession and the rising popularity of

The rising cost of Japanese and the burst of bubble economy at its market also hit the Nissan In addition to the stronger competition Mitsubishi, Toyota and Mazda, the could no longer enjoy the success of its predecessors. Eventually, Z32 the least number among the generations.

It was withdrawn from market in 1996 and then from the domestic price in 2000. Its successor 350Z arrive 2 years late, but was a very different car, and lacked the beauty and sophistication of its To many car enthusiasts, Z32 remains to be the Z-car.

2+2 looked even thanks to a more balanced

Nissan Fairlady Z
Nissan Fairlady Z
Nissan Fairlady Z
Nissan Fairlady Z
Nissan Fairlady Z
Nissan Fairlady Z
Nissan Fairlady Z
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