Thursday, November 17, 2011

Nissan Z

Nissan was a relatively small company when in the 1960s it partnered with Yamaha to design a new sports car prototype. Nissan executives saw the prototype as a halo car that would improve their company's image in the minds of consumers. By 1964 Nissan realized that Yamaha's DOHC 2.0-liter engine was not meeting Nissan's expectations and the project was scrapped. Yamaha later finished a prototype and took their design to Toyota, resulting in the Toyota 2000GT. Yutaka Katayama, the president of Nissan USA at the time, realized the importance of an affordable sports car. Nissan had already produced the successful series of Fairlady roadsters that competed mainly with English and Italian roadsters, and product planners envisioned a new line of GT cars that would be stylish, innovative, fast, and relatively inexpensive through the use of interchangeable parts with other Nissan vehicles. Prototype work began in 1966 with a clay mockup.

Nissan Z

Production of the Nissan Z Car started on October 1969, with 2 separate versions: one for the Japanese market and one for the US market. The Japanese Fairlady Z featured a SOHC L20A inline-6 producing 130 PS (96 kW), while the US 240Z featured a 2.4L L24 inline-6 with twin Hitachi SU-type carburetors that produced 151 hp (113 kW) (SAE gross horsepower). A third Z, the Z432 (PS30) shared a performance version of the DOHC 2.0 L S20 engine with the Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R.

Nissan 350Z

In Japan, the Z car was still known as the Fairlady to keep the car in line with previous Nissan sports cars. However, Yutaka Katayama ensured the American version had all Nissan badging replaced with "Datsun" and prevented all dealer shipments until they were replaced.

Evolution of the Nissan Z

2011 Nissan Z

Nissan Z Pictures and Images

Cars -- Nissan 350Z Z33

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