First generation: F30 (1980-1986)
The first Leopard (also known as Leopard TR-X) was introduced in September 1980 as a contender in the upper medium class of cars. The angular body, available as a 2-door hardtop coupe and a 4-door hardtop sedan, featured very thin C- and D-pillars and large glass surfaces. The Leopard featured some industry firsts, for instance a fuel consumption gage in the dashboard. Originally the Leopard was available with naturally aspirated inline four and six cylinder engines of 1800, 2000 and 2800 cc displacement; in September 1982 (when the car received a mild facelift) a two liter turbo-engine was added. In 1984 a limited Turbo Grand Edition with the 300ZX's 3 litre turbo engine joined the line-up.
According to a translated Japanese Wikipedia article on the Leopard, the car was based on the North American market Datsun 810 and shared a common platform with the Datsun 910, which was renamed the Nissan Maxima. The Japanese version had side view mirrors mounted on the front fenders and had small wipers attached to the top of the mirrors to remove accumulated rain on the surface of the mirror. The vehicles styling seemed to be influenced by the Toyota Soarer, however when the Leopard was introduced, the styling was already a little dated as the Soarer had been recently updated.
A list of the various trim levels the Leopard was initially available as:
After a mild styling update, the car was offered in the following variations:
300 TURBO GRAND EDITION
TURBO ZGX SUPER EDITION
The F31 Leopard appeared in February 1986 and was only available as a luxury GT coupé. In the US, 5000 Leopards were imported and 2500 of those were converted to convertibles by ASC. In the USA, the F31 was called the Infiniti M30. It was Infiniti's first-ever coupe, as well as the only convertible offered by Infiniti at the time (of which it still is). This vehicle shared a platform with the Nissan Skyline R31, and the Nissan Laurel C32 to share development costs.