This year is a big one for the Nissan Z Car. No, they haven't released an all-new model just yet, but it is the 50th birthday of the iconic sports car. Nissan is commemorating the milestone with yet another special edition model. No prizes for guessing what it's called: It's dubbed the 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition.
So as the Nissan Z celebrates half a century of motoring, let's take a quick look back to where it all started.
The year is 1969 and the first Z Car, the 240Z, breaks cover. With its long hood, short deck silhouette, it would become a design characteristic that would stick to the car for the rest of its life. It started out with a 2.4-liter straight-six with 153 horsepower. The engine size would grow throughout its life, from 2.4-liters, up to 2.6-liters, all the way to 2.8-liters.
Fast forward to 1978 and the Z-Car grew in size and gained more power. The second-generation also gained the T-top model, blending in the open-top feel of a convertible and the style of a coupe. A turbocharged 2.8-liter was added in the range later on, making 180 PS.
In 1984, the third-generation Nissan Z, the 300ZX got a redesign that was in tune with the decade. Curves made way for sharp lines and angles for the 80's Z, and the engine size grew to 3.0-liters. Paired with a turbo, it made 240 PS, which is said to have made it the most powerful Japanese production car at the time.
Come 1990, the new decade saw a new 300ZX. Power was pumped up to 304 PS, thanks to a twin-turbocharged V6 engine. Some of its highlights included four-wheel steering on the turbo models and the addition of a convertible body style. This generation of Z-Car would live on for 12 years.
In 2003, the Z-car would would take the retro-futuristic route with the 350Z. The new style echoed that of the original 240Z from 1969. It also went back to the naturally aspirated engine with a 3.5-liter V6 making 306 PS towards the end of its cycle. The 350Z was also the first Z to be officially offered in the Philippines.
And now we're back in the present with the 370Z. First introduced in 2009, the current Z-Car is now a decade old but the 50th Anniversary Edition adds some neat touches to the car. It gets a retro-inspired scheme with its door stripes and two-tone paint, either in red or black. The 50th Anniversary Edition also gets a unique set of alloy wheels, along with special badges, plus leather/Alcantara combination on the inside.
While it is unlikely that we'll be getting this limited-run model, we will be getting both the standard and NISMO 370Z coupes. With that, you can say the eventual arrival of the 370Z in the country is a very timely one too, coinciding with its golden anniversary. We can't wait for these sports cars to appear in local dealerships soon.