Datsun (as Nissan was then called) established a fine reputation for its 1968 240Z coupe, especially in the USA. Its fine styling, exemplary reliability and punchy performance from the straight six engine meant it outsold the then dominant sports car rivals from Europe. Sadly, the subsequent 280 and 300Z replacements just fatter and less sporting. In 1969 Nissan got back to the roots of the Z concept with the 200 SX coupe, a svelte rear wheel drive three door powered by a turbo charged engine which gave it serious pace. In 1994 the 200 SX was replaced by a new, more thoroughly developed model. The new Nissan 200 SX was a two door notch back with styling too subtly drawn for most tastes, especially as it arrived around the same time as the dramatic First Coupe. But it was a very finely crafted fast car, with very few, if any, glaring faults. Nissan’s new linear charge turbo charged system, meant that the 200 SX delivered a very even spread of power and torque throughout the rev range. In tandem with the security of the beautifully balanced chassis, this gave the car tremendous pace especially on winding secondary roads.
The 2.0 litre engine had enormous mid range thrust made the 200 SX a very relaxing car to drive quickly. This was a trait amplified by the superb driving positions, unobtrusive dashboard, giving a fine view forward and sweet gear change. Slow sales led to a mid life facelift to give the 200 SX a more aggressive appearance, but it made little difference. It was a change too little in the in the day. Buyers turned towards the vehicle’s charismatic opposition, but nothing could match the Nissan’s sensationally sweet progression.