Nissan’s Fairlady Z models replaced the SP310 based cars in 1969. The American version of that first Z-car featured a 2.4-liter inline six-cylinder engine fitted with a dual carburetor intake system. Known in the US as the 240Z, it offered 151 horsepower and was a runaway success.
Some 45,000 units were sold through the 1971 model year. In 1972, Nissan sold more than 50,000 copies of the 240Z. Unfortunately, the ensuing years saw the model evolve into a steadily larger and more bloated Grand Tourer. By 1989, it was known as the 300ZX, and was similar to that original 240Z in shape only. The lithe and lively 240Z was completely lost—as was its original fan base.
When Nissan replaced the car in 1990 with the all-new 300ZX, the original concept was scrapped altogether in favor of a purpose built GT concept. With its near-exotic good looks, the new 300ZX was considerably more successful than its predecessor. In fact, it became one of the most desirable sports/GT cars on the market. All of this goodness was considerably more expensive though. By the time it went out of production in 1996, the base price of the Nissan was nearly $50,000 (equivalent to approximately $76,000 today).
The company re-introduced the Z Concept five years later at the North American International Auto Show. Designed specifically to sell for less than $30,000 while offering 300 horsepower, the 350Z was a throwback to that first Fairlady Z of 1969. As of this writing, the model has evolved through two generations to become the Nissan 370Z we know today. The subject of this review, the 2014 Nisan 370Z NISMO, is the ultimate iteration of that car (to date).