Toyota Supra, I know this is your week, your week of return after so many years away. But please, I have to admit that there is another six-cylinder high-power sports coupe in my heart. It is the Nissan 200ZR, the last inline-six Fairlady.
You might be thinking that I’m wrong. That’s a 300ZX, dumb idiot, you already are screaming in your mind. It has a 3.0-liter V6, the VG30ET, predecessor to today’s line of VQ and VR engines. You’re not a REAL car-driving man like me!
This was no V. Six cylinders stand in a line with “RB” emblazoned at the front. This is an RB20DET, the littlest of the tricky but lovely series of engines that culminated in the killer RB26DETT that made the R34 Skyline GT-R the legend that it is.
The RB20DET was 2.0 liters, with dual overhead cams and, at least according to its Japanese Wikipedia entry, the first production ceramic turbocharger. It made about 200 horsepower, which isn’t a ton for a car that weighed about 3000 pounds, but I’m sure some trimming could be done.
It’s hard to find a ton of other information about this 200ZR, as it wasn’t sold here in the United States, and the internet doesn’t really love the Z31-generation of Z cars in general. The Zs before it are prettier, the ones after it more nostalgic to today’s budding car audience. The Z31 was kind of an awkward ‘80s transition car, one that you pick up for nearly free and wonder how anyone bought a sports car so slow.
It doesn’t make a ton of sense for me to hang performance driving dreams on a car designed mainly 1) as a technical showcase for Nissan to go against Toyota’s ever-improving Supra and 2) as something for dudes to air out their gold chains with on warm nights. I’m a fool for loving the 200ZR.
But I don’t care. An RB is what I need, an eminently usable, tunable engine in a sweet-handling sports car to make my life difficult generally and wonderful momentarily.
I mean, uh, Supra. Yeah. Supras rule. Bye.