THE BIRTH OF AN ICON
The Z-Range began its journey in the 1960s, as a prototype to update the Nissan Fairlady. On seeing the designs, the team recognised something that could be far more than just a sports car; it could be a symbol of all Nissan stood for.
When we reflect on our rich heritage as one of the world’s most iconic vehicle brands, one thing has always remained the same: Nissan has always aimed to bring you ‘Innovation that excites’. In many ways, this ethos and vision can be summed up in the history of the ever-evolving, ever-improving Nissan Z-Range.
1969 – 1978
The first Z-Car made its debut in 1969 with the S30. The stylish 2-door coupe would stay in production until 1978 and, along the way, would be ranked second on the list of Top Sports Cars of the ’70s.
1976 – 1983
The second generation would not run for as long as its predecessor (1976–1983) but left no less of an impact. Bringing fuel-injected, turbocharged engines to an already sleek design, and the 280ZX also brought the Z-Series into the Grand Tourer Category. Motor Trend would name it 1979’s ‘Import Car of the Year’. It also set the Z-Series record of 86 007 units sold in its first year.
1983 – 1989
The exciting Z-31 series made its debut in 1983, and followed hot on the heels of its predecessor, the 280ZX, by becoming the second-best selling Z-Car in history with 70 000 units sold in the first year. It also had the honour of being the highest HP car available in Japan in standard Japanese production.
1989 – 1996
But a new generation of drivers would soon come to call for more power, and in 1989 the twin-turbocharged Z32 series was unleashed. It became Motor Trends ‘Import Car of the Year’ for 1990 and Automobile Magazine awarded it ‘Design of the Year’, adding it to their ‘All Stars’ list.
2002 – 2009
When the Z32 stopped production in 1996, there was no new generation of the Z-Range for 6 years. Then, 2 years into the new millennium, Nissan announced the iconic Z33. Bringing the Z-Range up to 6-speed manual, the sleek 2-door roadster exceeded expectations and won a whole new generation of admirers. It became the ‘2004 Top Gear Magazine Car of the Year’, Automobile Magazine’s ‘2003 Automobile of the Year’ and TopSpeed Magazine’s ‘Japanese Performance Car of the Year 2007’, among many other accolades.
2009 – 2016
Running simultaneously to the Z33, was the high-performance hallmark of the Z-Range: the Z34. It packed serious punch: 7-speed automatic with semi-sequential manual shift and up to 261kW of pure power. JD Power hailed it as the ‘Highest Ranked Compact Premium Sporty Car’ in 2009.