2011 Nissan 370Z And 1990 Nissan 300ZX. Photos by Alex Bellus
When it comes to Z design I am a huge fan of the classic lines on the 240Z, but truly love the wide stance of the Z32 300ZX. The curvy 370Z took some getting used to for me, but I've come to like it.
In 1990, the Z32 300ZX was one of the most advanced car designs on the market. It was one of the first production cars to be developed with CAD software which led to many innovations ranging from tight panel gaps to four-wheel steering. The car won multiple awards throughout its 6 years in the marketplace.
The 300ZX has a low, wide, no nonsense stance accentuated by long horizontal taillights and headlights. In contrast, the 370Z is narrower by approximately 2 inches while wearing its curves like Beyoncé on the red carpet. When analyzing the 300ZX design, you get the sense it was purpose-built with coefficient of drag (Cd) numbers in mind rather than pure style, where as the 370Z feels like a mix of style and function wrapped into a curvy package.
Nissan wanted the 370Z to hark back to the 240Z, with a long hood and rearward cabin. The 300ZX differed from this design philosophy with the fluid cabin and jelly-bean like shape. The main similarity in the two designs is the hood proportion. I'd like to think the sculpting on the hood of the 370Z is a nod back to the slight bulge sculpted into the center of the 300ZX hood, but I could just be dreaming.