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Nissan 300ZX (1984 - 1989)

Last updated 11 May 2013

Fast in turbo form, generally reliable, targa-top a nice option
Poor dynamics, heavy and large, no longer a sports car in the way the 240Z was


The Nissan 300ZX was a logical expansion and update of the already portly 280ZX. Although the Z31 featured sharp new look, and could be bought in relatively quick turbo form, it failed to add any excitement to the Z-car line - mainly because it had travelled even further away from the original 240Z's pleasing rortiness.

Despite being all-new under the skin, and the first in the Fairlady Z line in the line to feature a V6 engine, the 300ZX had been significantly overshadowed by sporting newcomers such as the Porsche 944 and Lotus Excel, both of which cost less. The familiar looking styling was more aerodynamic than before, boasting a drag co-efficient of just 0.30. The turbo managed to deliver lots of straight line pace, if not finesse. Handling was firmer than the sloppy old Datsun 280ZX, but still not good enough to be considered a sports car in the traditional sense of the word.

Rare today, and some would say deservedly so,