• 1991 - 1996 Nissan 300zx

The 300ZX Turbo was the embodiment of brains and brawn. Introduced in 1989 as a 1990 model, the fourth-generation turbocharged car received rave reviews from the automotive media and sent Corvette designers scrambling to meet the Nissan’s 300 hp.

  • 1991 - 1996 Nissan 300zx
  • Year:
    1991- 1996
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Transmission:
    6-Speed Manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • 0-60 time:
    7.5 sec.
  • body style:

Although the twin-turbo Z sales were initially strong, approaching 40,000 units in 1996, in its final year of production, it’s estimated that less than 4,000 units made their way into garages across America.

Despite being out of production for seven years, the twin-turbo Z still looks great, the technology was topnotch and the aftermarket continues to pay homage to the model. Nicely preserved 300ZX Turbos aren’t hard to find, and prices have come within reach of most enthusiasts. Use this guide to find yours.


Even now, the fourth-generation car’s appearance is both fine and refined. At its introduction, it was noted the third-generation’s boxy shape and pop-up headlights that screamed "ChiPs" at primetime were gone. The new look was low and wide with smooth lines and a rounded roofline. The twin-turbo Z also had staggered wheel and tire sizes—wider in the rear than the front—which gave the car a menacing stance.

Bodywork for the twin-turbo, which was only available as a two-seater, was essentially the same as the normally aspirated Z, which was available as a two-seater and a 2+2; however, there were a few differences. The Z wore a small rear spoiler, which grew larger in 1994, and three small slat-like grille openings on the corners of its front spoiler. Also, the label Twin-Turbo, albeit small, can be found on the right rear of the decklid.


The 3.0-liter 60-degree V6 of the third-generation Z remained—in title only. For the fourth generation, Nissan kept the iron-block and aluminum head configuration, but the block was redesigned and the crank, intake and exhaust manifolds, heads, valvetrain, electronics, and boost system were changed.


The rumored six-speed never came to fruition. Five-speeds, along with automatics, were offered all seven years of production. The five-speed is controlled by a perfectly placed short throw shifter.


The ABS stock brakes were big for the time, with 11-inch, four-piston discs in front and 11.7-inch, two-piston discs in the rear. These brakes are still sufficient for street use, but fall short on the track. According to Mitchell, the brake calipers switched from aluminumto cast iron in 1993 in order to solve a warping issue.Brake pad upgrades to semi-metallic or carbon-metallic are a good idea, along with changing to stainless-steel brake lines. A better brake fluid with a higher boiling point is also recommended by many weekend racers.

Steering and Suspension

If the Nissan 300ZX Turbo’s suspension was a crude DVD, it would be "Nissan Engineers Gone Wild." All Turbos came with four-wheel independent suspension, two-position cockpit adjustable shocks and Super HICAS four-wheel steering system, which tosses out a dose of opposite steering in the rear, immediately followed by same-direction rear steering.

Below 20 mph and above 75 mph, the system is inactive, but between 20 and 75 mph, it moves the rear wheels up to 1 degree, depending on vehicle speed, steering wheel angle, and the speed the steering wheel is turned. Turn the wheel quickly, and you get more of a response.

Until 1993, HICAS was electro-hydraulic, but for the 1994 model year, the system was changed to an electric rear rack for a small weight savings. Today, most die-hards disable it for track use.

The adjustable suspension had Sport and Touring settings. Additionally, the suspension geometry in the rear discouraged any squat at drag starts; in fact, it could produce a bit of annoying wheel hop. Stiffer lowering springs help.

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
About the author

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Show Comments


  (233) posted on 10.2.2008

thats what i’ve read and heard. they say that gm was scrambling with the corvette to come up with 300hp lol.

  (1022) posted on 10.2.2008

300hp in a 1990 model. If it does do 13 seconds, that makes it one of the fastest cars around at that time.

  (233) posted on 10.1.2008

you do realize that this car runs a 5.2 0-60 and in the 13 range quarter mile if properly driven and thats stock... i’d say thats pretty fast for a 12 yr old car. i dont know of many turbo coupes that run faster than that.unless you’re talking about turbocharging a 350z or something but then again that car’s not exactly stock so to compare the two would be like comparing apples to pizza... or something completely unrealated

  (607) posted on 05.3.2007

rainmaker2 ur an if the person u talkin bout is gonna be racing than he had better have after market parts on it, cuz if sumone challenges him in a modified turbo coupe his is dead.....don’t listen to es here that is a old car, it ain no damn missile do wat u want with it if u wan supe it up then do that

  (5990) posted on 11.14.2006

where i can find the mark of the car and theinformation about car company please tell me

  (5990) posted on 10.30.2006

i am lookin for a wiring harness for my 1986 300zx it recently caught on fire i dont know y now im looking for harness if u have one please contact me at 773 266 6294 thank you richie

  (5990) posted on 10.6.2006

You will not find a better looking and perfoming car for the money. I just bought a 12 year old 1994 Twin Turbo 300ZX with 29,000 miles in original condition and the car is like brand new inside and out. Find one and hold on to it for dear life. In 20 years from the production date it will be a collectors item and can you image what an original one will be worth then?

Do your self a favor and do not put on ANY after market parts. The stock 300ZX is a missle and will preform GREAT. Take your time shopping for a Z until you find the right one. It will take some time as it took me a year to find mine, but it was well worth it. One last piece of advice, if you have to pay a few thousand more than what the market price is, you will not regret it. I have had 4 in my life time and they all lasted well over 150k miles with basic tune ups.

Even today people from all walks of life love this car.

  (5990) posted on 08.15.2006

im looking to buy a 1996 nissan 300zx 2+2 manaul for a good price if u you know anyone who wants to sell that car to me please contact me as soon as possible

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