First appearing on the streets
in 1997 (though it was selling in 1995), the ZZ is Japanese tuner Tommykaira
's first original
-san and Kaira
s of Tommykaira, joked that by the time their first original appeared, they would both be old men
. The ZZ derives its name from this jest
-- "old man" in Japanese
", sounds quite a bit like "Z-san", or "ZZ
Instead of a highly modified Nissan Skyline GT-R or Subaru Impreza WRX STi which Tommykaira is known best for, the ZZ is instead a very strange looking automobile, and relatively underpowered when compared to Tommykaira's tuner cars. The ZZ reminds one of a Lotus Elise or perhaps an Opel Speedster/Vauxhall VX220 in its mechanics and design. The ZZ makes use of a mid-mounted SR20DE inline-four engine (the same found in most Nissan Silvia J's and Q's models, and the Nissan Sentra SE-R), producing 180 hp @ 6900 rpm. A slightly stronger model of ZZ exists in the ZZ-S, which outputs 195 hp @ 7300 rpm. An aluminum monocoque chassis and body helps to ultra-lightweight the car, which tops the scales at a diminutive 690 kgs (1520 pounds), creating a very responsive, quick ride.
The ZZ met its end in April 2000 -- or did it? Public outcry, especially from British enthusiasts, convinced Tommykaira to bring back the ZZ in September 2000. This outcry also convinced Tommykaira to concieve of the second generation ZZ, the ZZ-II.