Available in both turbo and non-turbo form, the first 300ZX sold hundreds of thousands of units in the 1980s. Scroll down for our articles on the Z31 model.
The Nissan 300ZX was an evolution of the line that began with the 240Z in 1969, and was designated "Z31". It was the first Nissan Z car to use a V6 motor rather than an inline 6, and had the first all-new chassis since the original 240Z. It was available in both naturally aspirated (read: non-turbo) and turbocharged forms, making 160hp or 200hp respectively for the American market, with later updates (1988 and 1989) bumping the power up slightly to 165hp/205hp. Other markets claimed different power outputs, perhaps in large part due to differing camshaft profiles. The European market stated it's turbo 300ZX made 240hp and the Australian market claimed it's naturally aspirated 300ZX made 166hp and it's turbocharged companion 208hp.
The 300ZX was based on the same chassis as it's immediate predecessor, the 280ZX, which had moved away from the shorter-wheelbase S30 chassis that the original 240Z was built around. The longer chassis was shared with the Nissan 910/Bluebird in the Japanese market.
As mentioned above this was the first time that the Z series saw a V6. The VG30E engine was also found in a variety of other vehicles including the contemporary Nissan Pathfinder. The motor displaces 2960cc and had another "first" - it was Japan's first mass-produced V6 motor. It also came with a turbocharged variant, designated the VG30ET.
Overall, the engines available for the Z31 series (consisting of the 200ZR, 200Z, 200ZS, 200ZG, 300ZX, 300ZX Turbo and 300ZR) across the globe included:
The 300ZX features MacPherson struts up front and independent trailing arms at the rear. Apart from the "Shiro Special" special edition, all of the Turbo models had 3-way electronically adjustable shock absorbers.