This Nissan Cima was introduced by Nissan in 1988 as a large luxury vehicle for Japanese market. The term ‘Cima’ is a Spanish word for ‘summit’. The Cima also featured an ornamental acanthus leaf on the hood. The classical Greeks used these acanthus leaves to make a wreath that was used crown.
For the first two generations, the Cima offered was more luxurious and comparatively larger than the Cedric/Gloria. The engine used was V8 similar to the one used in President. The later generations were relatively shorter and based on the President’s platform. This shorter version was then exported to the US market under Infiniti Q45 name. In 2006, the Q45 was stopped, but the Cima and President remained in production up till August 2010. With the end of Cima era, Nissan Fuga became the flagship of the lineup. The Nissan Cima had to compete with a Toyota Crown Majesta.
Based on the Cedric/Gloria chassis, the Nissan Cima showed some outstanding sales results with 64,000 units sold in its debut year followed by other 120,000 units sold in next four years. With such marvelous sales records, the vehicle became a symbol of bubble economy. Until 2010, 278,000 units of Cima were sold.
First Generation Y31 (Jan 1988–Aug 1991)
The first generation Cima (Y31) was appeared in 1988 in a response to Toyota’s extended version of Crown called the Toyota Crown Majesta. The Y31 was powered by either a VG30DE (200 hp; 149 kW) or a turbocharged VG30DET (255 hp; 190 kW). The turbocharged version of Cima became extremely popular in the Japanese market and the Japanese media began referring it to as ‘the Cima phenomenon’. The dealerships that sold Nissan Laurel also sold Cedric Cima, while the Gloria Cima was sold at the dealerships selling Nissan Skyline. The Cima was offered with an air suspension.
Second Generation Y32 (Aug 1991–Jun 1996)
The second generation Y32 Cima was introduced in August 1991 after the release of Y32 Cedric/Gloria in June 1991. The second generation Cima was a revised version offering more luxurious zeal over the previous generation Cima. It was from this generation when it was simply referred to as the Cima.
In the early years, the Cima was powered by the VH41DE (a short-stroke version of the VH45DE used in Infiniti Q45). An active suspension (found on US-spec Infiniti Q45) was introduced with the previously introduced air suspension. As for appearance, it assumed to have the looks of British automobiles. US-spec analog clock found Infiniti models was also introduced in Cima. All-wheel drive and V8 engine was released later.
Third Generation Y33 (Jun 1996–Jan 2001)
The third generation Y33 Cima was introduced in 1996. It was marketed in export markets as Infiniti Q45. The Y33 used the VH41DE engine rather than VH45DE. The Y33 became the first car to offer with side airbags as standard feature. The four-wheel drive version was still offered in Japanese market. As for styling, the car had the appearance and looks similar to the Mercedes-Benz produced at that time. The Y33 was also used by Saitama Prefectural Police Highway department as patrol car. Toyota Crown Majesta was its major competitor.
Fourth Generation F50 (Jan 2001-Aug 2010)
In January 2001, the fourth generation F50 Cima was launched by Nissan. The fourth generation F50 Cima featured an updated version of previous platform along with a new rear suspension. Nissan worked extremely hard to make the design of this generation unique. The 7-reflector headlights of Cima became a major reason of its popularity. The F50 Cima had a competition with Mitsubishi Proudia.
The Cima featured a new VK45DD direct-injection V8 engine alongside VQ30DET turbo engine. In 2002, the BOSE sound system was added in the vehicle. In April 2003, the company revealed the left hand drive version of the Cima at the Shanghai Auto Show, China.
Nissan announced in August 2010 that the company had discontinued the production of Cima and President both. Nissan Cima and Nissan President shared the same chassis. After the discontinuation of Cima and President, the Nissan Fuga became the flagship in its marque.