The original Z car was a comprehensively conceived and exceptionally executed sports car—a remarkable achievement for a company that had previously been regarded primarily as a purveyor of “cheap” economy cars (at least here in America.) The Z utterly transformed the Datsun brand image. In its first road test, Car and Driver showered the Z with praise: “The difference between the Datsun 240Z and your everyday three-and-a-half thousand dollar sports car is that about twice as much thinking went into the Datsun. It shows. For the money, the 240Z is an almost brilliant car.” Today, 50 years on, admiration for the Z has not faded. While the Z was designed with the American market in mind (President of Nissan’s USA division, Yutaka Katayama—the legendary “Mr. K”—was instrumental in the Z car’s creation) it was envisioned from day one as a halo performance model for the entire globe. One notable upshot of the Z car’s global mission was its engine line-up. An inline-6 was specified for all markets. By far the best known is the L24 2.4L that gave the American version its name: 240Z. But the Z was actually launched first in Japan powered by a 2.0L version of that same SOHC 2-valve L-series motor—the L20A. The reason was pure economics. Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) vehicles are taxed according to engine size, and the cut-off between tax brackets is 2000cc. By equipping the JDM Fairlady Z (the Japanese designation) with the 1998cc L20A Nissan saved Japanese buyers a considerable tax penalty, but the savings came at the cost of 20 horsepower—130 versus the L24’s 150. Eventually, Japanese customers demanded the more powerful engine, so the L24 was made available to them a year later.
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RALLY CAR REVOLUTION
30 YEARS THAT REINVENTED THE SPORT OF RALLYING
THE COMPLETE BOOK OF CORVETTE: EVERY MODEL SINCE 1953
The Corvette is known the world over as “America’s Sports Car.” With eight generations spanning seven decades, the Vette has a lot of history behind it and there is much to learn— and much to celebrate—about this iconic machine. As the title of the book by Mike Mueller makes plain, The Complete Book of Corvette: Every Model Since 1953 is here to help readers do both. Newly revised and updated to include the 2020 C8 Corvette, this volume provides excellent context on how the Vette has evolved into the world-class supercar that it is today.
Maisto - 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
A mid-engine makeover makes the C8 great
JOHNNY LIGHTNING DOES REAL MUSCLE IN MINIATURE
I had plans well underway for the big “Bargain Muscle Cars” feature story in this issue (p18) when I saw this lineup for the new Muscle Cars USA 2020 Release 3 from JL. I already knew I would be talking about the Dodge Dart GTS and AMC Rebel Machine, so I figured I’d just plunder those two cars from this set for that story and be all set. But then my conscience kicked in. Both because the other four cars in the set deserve their moment in the sun, and because they are all based on actual cars from the 2019 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals show it just makes sense to talk about them together.
HOT WHEELS LIFE SIZE
Hot Wheels has been having full-size versions of its iconic 1:64 diecast cars made since 1998, and lots of fans have gotten to see them at various car shows and events like the Hot Wheels Legends Tours. But most of those appearances were static displays. About a year ago Hot Wheels decided to give fans a chance to see what it was like to drive the cars in its Garage of Legends by teaming up with MotorTrend’s streaming network to produce a series of episodes highlighting six of the most popular—and outrageous—creations.
BARGAIN MUSCLE CARS
The evolution of affordable performance
GT Spirit - LB Works vs Roush Stage 3 Mustangs
Form vs function for Ford’s muscle car icon
AUTOART - 2018 TOYOTA CENTURY
1:18 | $230 | no. 78762
THE Z-CAR A TO Z
50 Years of Nissan’s Quintessential Sports Car
The '55 Chevy Gasser is not slowing down
It seems the old adage “The more things change, the more they stay the same” still rings true, especially for the Hot Wheels `55 Chevy Gasser! The Gasser has been in the spotlight continuously from the moment it was released, and it shows no sign of slowing down. First released in 2013, this high-riding 1955 Chevy Bel Air was designed by Brendon Vetuskey.
How Toyota Dodged The Chip Shortage
As rivals shutter plants, the automaker’s close monitoring of its supply chain gives it an edge
AUTO INDUSTRY BRACES FOR MORE CHIP SHORTAGES AFTER FIRE
A fire at a plant owned by Japanese chipmaker Renesas could deepen the ongoing global semiconductor shortage that has especially hampered automobile production.
A Long, Tough Road to Glory
KEEP ON TRUCKING
NOT EVEN A PANDEMIC CAN STOP AMERICA'S LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE PICKUP TRUCK
Trend 12.20:Nissan Z Proto
FIRST LOOK A heritage-rich preview of the 400Z
As the new Z Proto was revealed (page 14), we interviewed Nissan Motor design boss Alfonso Albaisa, who has spent his entire career at Nissan and oversees design for the Nissan, Infiniti, and Datsun brands.
2020 NISSAN TITAN XD
A simplified lineup refocuses the Titan XD’s positioning
SCOUTING THE ROAD TO DIESEL POWER
TWO SURVIVING PROTOTYPE SCOUT DIESELS
WHICH AFFORDABLE SUBCOMPACT SUV SHOULD YOU GET?
2020 Nissan Titan PRO-4X
Smart changes move the needle for Nissan’s 1⁄2-ton