1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo


1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo

1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo

The 300ZX fought Corvettes, Porsches, Supras. It still looks contemporary, but it was very much a car of the 1990s: what resulted when the newfound, misguided enthusiasm for flashy futurism actually gave way to practicality. The frivolity of the ’80s and its flashy techno-paradise of lasers and blinking digital displays gave way to a bunch of hungover engineers who looked at each other, slowly took off their Duran Duran hats, and said, “OK, seriously. Now what?”

“The world’s most thoroughly modern sports car,” we said in October of 1989. “For the ZX Turbo hardly misses a technological trick…and therein lies both the car’s greatest strengths and its debatable weaknesses.”

The Z32 was a new design. The body was wider with a rounder profile and fewer hard edges. It had a marginally increased drag coefficient of .31 compared to the Z31’s .30. Twin Turbocharged Z32s also featured a then-new active rear wheel steering systems called “Super HICAS”, which was actuated hydraulically until 1994 when Nissan switched to an electric actuator. Nissan designated the final 300 units earmarked for North American sale in 1996 as “Commemorative Edition” cars, although nothing new or exclusive to the model was included. The 1996 model years vehicles did not feature Nissan’s NVTC variable valve timing system, which had been present on all previous Z32 models. Production continued in Japan until August 2000, with styling updates and the addition of HID headlamps in 1998.

Unchanged from the previous generation 300ZX was the displacement of the 3-litre engine, now with dual overhead camshafts (DOHC), variable valve timing (VVT) and producing a rated 222 hp (166 kW) and 198 lb·ft (268 N·m) in naturally aspirated form. The turbo variant was upgraded with twin Garrett turbochargers and dual intercoolers producing 300 hp (224 kW; 304 PS) and 283 lb·ft (384 N·m) of torque. Performance varied from 0-60 times of 5.0-6.0 seconds depending on the source, and it had a governed top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h).

In Detail

type Series Production Car
built at Japan
price $ $ 33,000
engine Turbocharged V6
valvetrain DOHC 4 Valves / Cyl
displacement 2960 cc / 180.6 in³
bore 87.0 mm / 3.43 in
stroke 83.0 mm / 3.27 in
compression 8.5:1
power 223.7 kw / 300.0 bhp @ 6400 rpm
specific output 101.35 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 189.99 bhp per tonne
torque 383.7 nm / 283.0 ft lbs @ 3600 rpm
redline 7000
body / frame Unit Steel
driven wheels RWD
front tires 225/50ZR-16
rear tires 245/45ZR-16
front brakes Vented Discs w/Vacuum Assist & ABS
rear brakes Vented Discs w/Vacuum Assist & ABS
front wheels F 40.6 x 19.0 cm / 16.0 x 7.5 in
rear wheels R 40.6 x 21.6 cm / 16.0 x 8.5 in
steering Rack & Pinion w/Power Assist
curb weight 1579 kg / 3481 lbs
wheelbase 2451 mm / 96.5 in
front track 1496 mm / 58.9 in
rear track 1554 mm / 61.2 in
length 4305 mm / 169.5 in
width 1791 mm / 70.5 in
height 1250 mm / 49.2 in
transmission 5-Speed Manual
gear ratios 3.21:1, 1.93:1, 1.30:1, 1.00:1, 0.75:1
final drive 3.69:1
top speed ~249.4 kph / 155.0 mph
0 – 60 mph ~6.5 seconds
0 – 100 mph ~16.5 seconds
0 – 1/4 mile ~15.0 seconds