While the Nissan Z car, and in particular this JDM Fairlady Z, has always been definitively Japanese, it was the US that inspired the original, and in fact it was Nissan’s California design studio that came up with the shape of the Fairlady Z (known as the 350Z in North America). While its predescessors bulked up in weight and price over the years, the new Z takes things back to a familiar formula—stout V6 up front (with no turbocharging, by the way, to keep things simple), long hood and short deck proportions, and rear-wheel drive with independent suspension. In theory, that’s a lot like the original Z-car, but in execution the new Z is much better. Underhood is a large, 3.5-liter V6 that is part of the excellent “VQ” engine family, and it provides a serious amount of power—287 in total. Performance is thus sprightly, with 60 mph reached in just 5.8 seconds; but it’s the handling that really shines in the Z. An all new chassis referred to as “front mid-ship” places the front-mounted engine well back in the chassis, for superior weight balance and excellent performance. While ties to the historic Z-cars are there, the thoroughly modern Z represents a driving experience few coupes then or now can approach.