Nissan has only ever surfed the edge of performance car. But when the Japanese manufacturer has dipped its toe, the vehicle has been branded with a Z. Not surprisingly, in the UK they became known as Zed cars.
The first appeared in 1969 when Nissan was still branded Datsun here. However, the Nissan Fairlady Z was only sold in Japan until it was rebranded 240Z and sold abroad for the first time in the early 70s, followed by the 260Z and 280ZX in later years.
The re-styled 300ZX arrived in 1983 and it survived in various forms until 2000, when many thought the age of Nissan sports cars was gone for good. Not so, and the 350Z, which sports the DNA of our current 370Z test car, was introduced three years later.
The 370Z is still known in Japan as the Fairlady – a moniker thankfully dropped for the European market!