Datsun Cherry which was commonly known as Nissan Cherry in later years was in fact a series of small cars manufactured by Nissan and regarded as the first front-wheel drive range.
The Cherry was based on FF layout referring to front-mounted engine and front-wheel drive. E10 and F10 were the two models of Cherry range. Nissan Pulsar was considered as the Nissan’s direct successor FF model range known in many countries as Cherry.
A derivative of the N12 series called the Alfa Romeo Arna was produced by Alfa Romeo in Italy, which was marketed in Europe by Nissan as Nissan Cherry Europe and as Nissan Pulsar Milano in Japan. All these cars were offered with slightest of differences in their look, such as radiator grilles, steering wheels, fabrics etc.
The Prince Motor Company had a plan to mass produce a front-engine, front-wheel drive vehicle before its merger with Nissan Motors. However, the merger was took place in 1966 and Nissan came up with its first front-wheel drive vehicle as Cherry in 1970. Asian markets also received a ‘Cherry Cab’ cabover truck model, closely associated with the Cherry and the Prince Homer.
First Generation E10 Series (1970-1974)
The first generation E10 series came with four-wheel independent suspension and available in two different inline 4-cylinder Nissan A-series OHV engines, i.e. 988 cc A10 and 1171 cc A12. However, the Japanese domestic market Cherry X-1 came with twin carbureted A12T engine with dual-side draft Hitachi carburetors.
At that time, the E10 was known as Datsun 100A or Datsun 120A in the European market where 100A and 120A referred to the A10 and A12 engines. Apart from these, the Cherry and Datsun 1000 were the other two names used in the market. Datsun 1000 is more often used to refer to the early Nissan Sunny.
Second Generation F10 Series (1974-1978)
The second generation Cherry was launched in 1974. It was sold as F-II in Japan, while in North America it was marketed as Datsun F10. The F10 was the first of the Nissan’s front-wheel drive range offered in North America. Nissan retained the four-wheel independent suspension.
Three different inline 4-cylindfer Nissan A-series OHV engines were offered including: 988 cc A10, 1171 cc A12 and 1397 cc A14. The car was offered with a two-pedal semi-automatic transmission known as ‘Sportmatic’.
Datsun 100A F-II or Datsun 120A F-II were the names used for F10 series in Europe representing the engine power.
Nissan Pulsar (N10) Generation
The N10 or Nissan Pulsar was introduced in Japan in 1978. It was sold as Cherry in European market. The engines used in this model were .0L, 1.2L and 1.4L.
Cherry (Pulsar N12 Generation) and Cherry Europe
The N12 generation was still sold under Cherry name in the European market, which was an angular hatchback model.
Alfa Romeo also produced some derivatives of N12 Cherry at Pratola Serra, near Naples, Italy. The derivative version was either marketed as Nissan Cherry Europe or Alfa Arna. It was sold as Nissan Pulsar Milano in the Japanese market.
The N13 generation model came with Nissan Sunny in many markets. However, the Pulsar name was remained in use till N15 model and sold in Japan and other Asian markets.