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UPDATED 8/6/04

Z32 300ZX cutaway drawing from the book "Nissan 300ZX" by Manuel Vigliani. (Originally produced as a center fold, hence the line down the middle)

The Z32 model 300ZX was introduced in 1989 and was an instant hit. Motor Trend named it the imported "car of the year", while Car and Driver named it "one of the worlds 10 best cars". The 300ZX mates a powerful engine with excellent road holding qualities and safety, and enough luxury to tempt the most jaded executive in need of an express. Power is provided by twin turbochargers, which require much less spool-up time that comparably powerful single-turbo set ups. The 300ZX also features HICAS 4 wheel steering, the Targa roof which has become a feature of Z-Cars, 4 valves per cylinder, DOHC, massive brakes and advanced technology, along with Nissan's justly famous quality.

The technical specifications presented here are for the 2+2 Targa Twin-Turbo, in European Specification form.

  The VG30DETT twin-turbocharged and twin intercooled 3.0 liter V6.
5spd Manual transmission
4spd Auto transimission
Type: VG30DETT
Position: Front logtitudinal
Cylinder number and disposition: 6 V60°
Crank case and cylinder head materials: Cast iron, light alloy
Crankshaft: upon 4 bearings
Bore and stroke: 87 X 83mm (3.425 X 3.268 inch)
Piston displacement: 2960 cc (180.62 cu in)
Compression ratio: 8.5:1
Max BHP : 283 bhp at 6400 rpm
Distribution: 4 valves per cylinder, double over head camshaft
Fuel system: Mulitpoint electronic injection, twin turbochargers
Ignition: Nissan Direct Ignition System (NDIS) firing order 123456 spark plugs PFR6B11

Drive: rear-wheel drive, swinging halfshaft, viscous coupling limited slip differential
Gearbox: type RS5R30A 5 speed manual with double cone synchronizer; type RE4RO3A 4-speed automatic
Gear ratios:
1st: 3.214
1st: 2.784
2nd: 1.925
2nd: 1.544
3rd: 1.302
3rd: 1.000
4th: 1.000
4th: 0.694
5th: 0.752
Rev: 2.275
Rev: 3.369
final drive: 3.692

Type and Material: unitized monocoque, steel panels plated with zinc-nickel
Car body: 2+2 hatchback, fully removable T-Bar roof
Front and Rear suspensions: independent wheels, "Multilink" system
Brakes: Front ventilated discs OPZ25V type, 4 piston caliper; rear, ventilated discs OPZ11VB type 2 piston caliper. ABS system
Steering system: 4 wheel steering; front wheels: rack and pinion with speed sensitive power assist. Rear wheels: super HICAS with phase reversal control

Front: 16 X 7.5 JJ 1
Rear 16 X 8.5 JJ 2

Tyres: Front: 225/50 ZR 16
Rear 245/45 ZR 16
Cooling systems: water, oil, tranmission-oil, differential-oil, double intercooler

Length: 4525 mm (178 in)
Width: 1800 mm (70.9 in)
Height: 1255 mm (49.4 in)
Wheelbase: 2570 mm (101.2 in)
Front and rear tracks: 1495-1555 mm
Kerb weight: 1585 kg (3494 lbs)
Lubrication system (engine): 4.4 lt
Cooling system (engine): 10 lt
Fuel tank: 72 lt (15.8 imp. gall.)
Luggage: 326 lt (11.4 cubic feet)

Top speed: 250 kp/h (155.4 mph) US version 153 mph
Acceleration: 0-100 km/h 6 sec
0-1000m 25.3 sec
Pick-up (in V gear from 70 to 180 km/h) 27.1 sec
Braking distance (140km/h) 76.3 m (250.3 ft)
Fuel consumption: 90 km/h 8.3 lt/100 km
120 km/h 10.5 lt/100 km
Power to weight ratio: 5.6 kgs/bhp


HICAS stands for Hich Capacity Activly-Controlled Suspension, which is as fine an example of motor-industry nomenclature as I have ever seen. What it actually means, is that the 300ZX is fitted with 4-wheel steering. Four wheel steering was first developed in the 1930's for military vehicles, as it made them much more maneuverable, and allowed them to turn in confined spaces. Such systems where expensive, and never made it onto production cars. However, the Japanese became interested in the idea of 4-wheel steering, and continued to experiment with it. Nissan's Super-HICAS system is an electronically controlled electrohydraulic system, as opposed to the simpler mechanical system. It was felt that the more complex system offered a better result than the simpler mechanical linkage. In a mechanical system, the rear wheels turn with the front wheels at the same rate. Using HICAS, however, an electronic control unit takes data from the steering wheel, and front wheels, and together with the car's current speed and other parameters, decides on the angle to which the rear wheels should turn. The rear wheels are then turned via a hydraulic cylinder. All of this happens instantly, and the system will constantly reposition the rear wheels for optimum effect, steering them either in the same, or the opposite direction to the front wheels depending on the situation. The HICAS system is superior to the mechanical system in that it provides faster, more reliable response, improves stability on curves, and eliminates abnormal car behavior during rapid direction changes such as those encountered in emergency situations. The HICAS system contains an emergency fail safe which locks the rear wheels in the standard fore-and-aft position if anything goes wrong, effectively turning the car back into a two-wheel steering system.

Mulitlink suspension :
Nissan developed the Multilink suspension system specifically for the 300ZX, but it's success led it to be introduced to other Nissan models. The suspension geometry is defined by an upper, two part triangle which extends the ideal upper-fulcrum hinge-axis point outward. This serves to reduce wheel toe-in variations during acceleration and braking. The rotation fulcrum angle of the triangle which is lower with respect to the axle line works together with the inner bushings and lower auxiliary strut. This means that the side loads imposed when cornering, and longitudinal loads from braking and accelerating increase the toe-in of the outside wheel, improving steering and rear-end stability. This system is fitted to both the front and rear, allowing the forces generated to be assimilated by both front and rear wheels, and converted to corresponding reactions which correct the cars attitude. Having the front and rear suspension work together in this manner increases stability and steering accuracy. The mechanical nature of this system makes it more reliable than hydraulic or hydrogas systems which produce similar effects.

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