In October 1987, a retro-styled vehicle, called the Nissan Pao was unleashed at the Tokyo Motor Show. The Pao was offered as a 3-door hatchback either with or without a textile sunroof (canvas-top). In fact, the Pao was one of the trendy by-products of the K10-Micra, the other two being the Figaro and the Be-1. The Pao was initially marketed without Nissan same as Figaro. Only reservation orders were entertained according to the date of placing between January 15 and April 14, 1989. Within three months of its launch, all the production units of Pao (i.e. 10,000 units) were sold out. The Nissan Pao with canvas-top has become a most sought-after and a collectible vehicle.
The term Pao is taken from Chinese referring to a kind of house used by nomads in Mongolia for meetings or assemblies.
The Pao was derived from Nissan’s ‘Pike’ series and was assembled as a stylish city car taking styling hints from Be-1. Nissan followed the major electronic companies like Panasonic, Sony to design their vehicles so as to make them as sought-after as the products of these electronic companies.
The Pao received a 1.0-L (987 cc) MA10S engine mated to a 3-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual transmission. The engine was also used in the Nissan March/Micra and was capable of generating 52 PS (38 kW; 51 hp) at 6000 rpm and torque of 75 Nm (55 lb-ft) at 3600 rpm. The manual transmission was the popular choice among the masses.
As for chassis, the Pao featured rack and pinion steering, independent front suspension with struts and 4-links and coil springs at the rear. In the front it featured disc brakes, while the rear received the brake drums. On its back, it had a clamshell hatch, which means that the glass section moves up and the lower section swings down making it look like a tailgate. The compact version of Pao required 4.4 m (14.4 feet) to take turn and achieved about 51 mpg (5.5 L/100 km) in the city and 79 mpg (3.4 L/100 km) on highway at a constant speed of 60 km/h (37 mph). The Pao featured 155/SR12 tires.
Naoki Sakai was the man behind designing Pike series including: the Be-1, Pao, and S-Cargo excluding the Figaro. Sakai was the also involve in designing Olympus in which he introduced the brushed aluminum look. In later years, Sakai also assisted Toyota in their WiLL series that sounds like Pike series by Nissan.
The Pao was available with canvas or without canvas top. There were two versions of each mode. The Pao without canvas top offered with a 5-speed manual transmission (PK10GF) or with a 3-speed automatic (PK10GA), while the Pao with canvas top was also offered with a 5-speed manual (PK10GFW) or with a 3-speed automatic transmission (PK10GAW).
Dimensions and Weight
The Pao was 3740 mm (147.2 inch) in length with 1570 mm (61.8 inch) and 1475 mm (58.1 inch) width and height respectively. It had a wheelbase of 2300 mm (90.6 inch) and a weight of 720 kg (1587.3 lb) – 760 kg (1675.5 lb). It could accommodate five passengers at one time.
It achieved 5.4 L/100 km (44 mpg-US) in the city on 5-speed manual, while 6.9 L/100 km (34 mpg-US) on a 3-speed automatic transmission. On the highway, it achieved 3.4 L/ 100 km (69 mpg-US) on a 5-speed manual, while 4.3 L/100 km (55 mpg-US) on a 3-speed automatic transmission at a speed of 60 km/h (38 mph).
The engine used in Pao was same MA10S used in March/Micra. It was a water-cooled inline-4 cylinder engine with an engine displacement of 987 cc and delivering 52 PS (38 kW; 51 hp) at 6000 rpm and torque of 75 Nm (55 lb-ft) at 3600 rpm.
The Pao was offered in several different exterior finishes including: Aqua Gray (#FJ-0), Olive Gray (#DJ-0), Ivory (#EJ-I) and Terracotta (#AJ-0).
The interior was available in Ivory (#EJ-I) and Black (#EJ-I).
The Pao came standard with: Power steering and height adjustable driver’s seat, Electromagnetic glass hatch release, Height-adjustable driver’s seat, intermittent wiper, Tensionless ELR seat belts (front seats), Radio (AM/FM, tape deck, electronic tuner) and two rear loudspeakers.