Engines

The first two generations S30 (240Z/260Z/280Z) and S130 (280ZX) of Z-car were powered by a Straight-6, (part of the L-series of Nissan engines, which powered most of their vehicles until the early 1980s) with a displacement of 2.4 L in the first incarnation, and increasing to 2.6 L and 2.8 L in the 260Z, and the 280Z and ZX, respectively.

The second generation, the 280ZX, introduced in 1979 was a complete re-design, retaining only the L28 engine and other driveline components. A turbo option was introduced in 1981, bringing performance surpassing that of the original 240Z.

The third generation, the 300ZX, switched to a 3.0 L V6. There were 2 generations of the 300ZX, the Z31 from 1984–1989, and the Z32 from 1990-1996. Both the Z31 and Z32 came in either non-turbo or turbo trims. During the 90’s the cars price continued to elevate and sales continued to fall. Even a major design change in 1998 couldn’t save it, and production finally ended in 1999.

While the model names were based on the engine capacity for the US markets, with the 240Z having a 2.4 litre L24 engine and the 260Z having a 2.6 litre L26 engine and so on to the 300ZX 3.0 litre V6, due to Japanese taxation laws relating to engine capacity some second and third generation (S130 and Z31) Fairlady Z cars were produced for the Japanese domestic market fitted with 2.0L engines. The S130 was available with an L20E inline 6, while the Z31 had either a RB20DET inline 6 or a VG20E V6.

In the 2003 model year, Nissan reentered the US sports-car market with the 350Z, powered by a 3.5 L V6(VQ35DE), and styled in an attempt to create a more modern interpretation of the 240Z’s lines. It had a new 6-speed manual gearbox, and is capable of over 155 mph (249 km/h). The 350Zs engine was updated twice during the cars life cycle with mechanical changes that also brought modest bumps in power.

The 2009+ 370Zs feature a 3.7L V6(VQ37VHR) producing 332HP(350HP in NISMO trim).

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