The Nissan 300ZX Turbo seems to have it all: speed! handling! braking! overhead cams! A turbocharger! triple odometers! All the modern GT goodies are present and accounted for in one neat, $18,699 package. Except, that is, for the most crucial ingredient of all: sex appeal. The emperor has no clothes, and the ZX Turbo lacks a pretty face.
The Z31 chassis designation was first introduced in 1983 as a 1984 Nissan/Datsun 300ZX (the hatch lid had both a Datsun and a Nissan badge) in the U.S. market. The 300ZX, as its predecessors, was known as a Nissan in other parts of the world. This continued in the U.S. until 1985 model year when Nissan standardized their brand name worldwide and dropped the Datsun badge. All publications for the Z31 chassis 300ZX and its predecessors were copyright Nissan North America. Designed by Kazumasu Takagi and his team of developers, the 300ZX improved aerodynamics and increased power when compared to its predecessor, the 280ZX. The newer Z-car had a drag coefficient of 0.30 and was powered by Japan’s first mass-produced V6 engine instead of an inline 6. According to Nissan, the V6 engine was supposed to re-create the spirit of the original Fairlady Z.
The Z31 generation featured five engine options. A turbocharged dual over head cam 2.0 L straight-six (RB20DET, used in the 200ZR), a turbocharged single over head cam 2.0 L V6 (VG20ET, found in 200Z/ZS/ZG), a naturally aspirated single over head cam 3.0 L V6 (VG30E, found in 300ZX), a turbocharged single over head cam 3.0 L V6 (VG30ET, used in 300ZX Turbo) and a naturally aspirated dual over head cam 3.0 L V6 (VG30DE, used in 300ZR). The Z32 had a naturally aspirated dual over head cam 3.0 L V6 (VG30DE) or a twin turbocharged dual over head cam 3.0 L V6 (VG30DETT). The Z31 and Z32 had electronic fuel injection (EFI), and were rear wheel drive. They were available in either left or right hand drive.