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UPDATED 10/6/04

The US market only 280Z was fitted with enourmous 'federal' bumpers, making it visually distinct from other Zs.

The 260Z lasted only one year in the US before being replaced with the 280Z. US emissions controls had sapped the L26 of all it's power so a new model was required. Carburettion was abandoned as it had caused so much trouble with the 260Z. The new Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection system was fitted instead to a 2.8 liter L28 engine. Although performance was not as good as the original 240, it was still far better than the 260Z and the later 240Zs. The 280Z was also heavier, thanks to a larger engine, the fuel injection, and a more fully equipped interior, and longer thanks to it's massive 'federal' bumpers required by US law. The 280Z also featured air-conditioning, and larger tyres. By now, the Z cost $9000 in the US, and no longer seemed quite the bargain it had originally been. However, it had also become accepted, and no longer needed to use Bargain Basement pricing as a draw card. The 280Z was actually the most popular of the first generation Z cars, with 230,128 being built, compared to 156,076 240Zs.

The Injected L28 inline six.
Engine: In line six
Construction: Cast-iron block, alloy head
Crankshaft: Seven-bearing
Bore X Stroke: 86.1mm X 79.0mm
Capacity: 2753cc
Valves: Single over head camshaft
Compression ratio: 8.3:1
Fuel system: Electric fuel pump, Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection
Maximum power: 149bhp at 5600rpm
Maximum Torque 163lb ft at 4400rmp
Transmission: Five speed manual or optional 3 speed auto
Final Drive ratio: 3.55:1
Top gear 1000rpm 203.mph (4spd), 24.7mph (5spd)
Brakes: 10.7in discs front, 9 X 1.6in drums rear, servo assisted.
Front suspension: Independent with MacPherson struts, lower wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar
Rear suspension: Independent with MacPherson struts, lower wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers
Steering: Rack and Pinion, 2.7 turns lock to lock
Wheels/tyres: 5J-14 pressed steel wheels with 195/70 HR 14 radial tyres
Wheelbase: 90.7in(2str)/102.6in (2+2)
Length: 173.2in (2str), 180.9in (2+2)
Width: 64.1in (2str)/65.5in (2+2)
Dry weight: 2800lb
0-60mph 9.4sec
Top speed: 121mph
Max speed in gears:
Typical fuel consumption:
The specifications given here are for US delivered 280Zs. The 280Z was sold only in the US and Canada, all other markets still received the 260Z.

Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection:
The 280Z was fitted with the then brand new Bosche L-Jetronic fuel injection system rather than Carburetors. The electronic system used sensors to monitor airflow temperature, throttle position and engine speed. A computer then calculated the required amount of fuel and sent out instructions to electronically controlled valves in the injectors. A 36lb sq ft fuel supply system was employed. Datsun of course made much of this advanced feature in their advertising. (Remember this was less than 20 years after Chevrolet introduced fuel injection to the masses in their 1957 Corvette and Bel Air - although that was a mechanical system, and production was low.)

Federal bumpers:
The US government introduced legislation during the 1970s which changed a lot of things about cars. They had to be more efficient (one piece of legislation called for cars capable of 100mpg by 2000!), produce less pollution, and be safer. One piece of legislation called for bumpers to be fitted to all cars which could survive an impact at 5mph with no damage. Of necessity, these bumpers where very large, very heavy, and exceedingly ugly. The 280ZX suffered from an enormous set, which increased the length of the car by over ten inches over the original 240Z! Fortunately, such massive bumpers where not fitted to non-US Zs, and with the introduction of the 280ZX, Nissan's designers managed to integrate them smoothly into the body.

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