The Nissan Silvia, along running line of sport coupes produced by Nissan appeared for the first time in 1964. It used Nissan S Platform. The chassis has been shared with other Nissan’s recent models such as European 200SX and North American 240SX for S13 and S14 generations, and 180SX for Japanese models, the name Silvia is in no way interchangeable with the chassis code.
The Original Silvia
In September 1964, the Nissan Silvia CSP311 appeared before the public for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show under the nameplate of Datsun Coupe 1500. The initial introduced was a hand-built coupe based on the Fairlady convertible with most of the styling taken from Count Albrecht Goertz. The CSP311 came with 96 hp 1.6-L Nissan R series engine equipped with twin SU carburetors. The car was discontinued in 1968 after producing just 554 units. Majority of the units sold in Japanese market, with about 49 units that were exported to Australia and 10 of them in certain other countries. The uniqueness of each model was the fact that all of them were hand-built involving a lot of tedious work. After discontinuation in 1968, the Silvia name would not appear again until the start of 1974.
S10 was the first to base on Nissan S platform, a compact, rear wheel drive, and sporty car platform.
The S10 offered in Japan came with L18 I4 engine similar to the Datsun 610/Bluebird 180B. However, the North American version came with a bit larger L20B engine used in Bluebird 200B. The S10 Silvia and Datsun 200SX were shared their platform with B210. The looks of the S10 were seemed to be influenced by the Citroen SM produced from 1970 to 1975.
S110 was an iteration of the Silvia sold as Datsun 200SX in United States and Canada, and as Datsun Sakura in Mexico. It was offered as 2-door hardtop coupe and a 3-door hatchback. Like the ill-fated Mazda Cosmo, a first Japanese car to feature rotary engine, the S110 was also designed to offer rotary engine but was unsuccessful as a result it was revised and the Wankel powerplant was dropped in favor of traditional piston engine. The company opted for Z series engine in the form of Z20 and the turbocharged fuel-injected Z18ET engines. The models offered in United States between 21979 and 1981 came with Z20E engine featuring the H165 rear axle. However, the later models offered with Z22E engine along with H190 rear axle.
During this generation, Nissan 240RS (BS110) coupe was also appeared with 2.4-L DOHC FJ24 engine. It remained in production from 1983 to 1985.
The S12 was introduced in 1984 and remained in production until 1988. It was available as a coupe (also known as notchback), a hatchback and a widebody chassis called grandprix of which only 50 units were produced.
Different engine options were available for S12 depending on the market and production year.
In 1988, the S13 Silvia was launched. With the launch of this model, the Silvia name was discontinued in the export markets. The car sold in Europe as 200SX and in North America as 240SX. The 200SX nameplate was resurrected for the B14 Nissan Sentra coupe produced from 1995 to1999. The S13 Silvia shared its platform with the first generation Nissan Cefiro (A31).
The S13 Silvia remained in production until 1994 and during its production period, a hatchback version called the 180SX was also introduced. A convertible version was also built but it failed to make any impression because of its large curb weight, chassis flex and high cost, i.e. 3.25 million Yen.
It was offered with CA18DE and CA18DET engines. SR20DE and SR20DET engines were added in the lineup in 1990. Different tri packages offered include J, Q and K.
S14 Silvia appeared in the Japanese market in the later half of 1993. Compared to S13, it was lower and wider with revised rounded styling. Handling of the car was improved by increasing the wheelbase and track of the car. Failed to bring good sales in the export markets, it always remained a popular customer choice in Japan.
The trim levels for S14 were almost the same as S13 Silvia. The K version of S14 Silvia came with a new SR20DET engine with variable valve timing system and relatively larger T28 turbocharger.
In Taiwan, it was sold as AREX Elite 901.
In 1999, the S15 Silvia was launched by Nissan. It was powered by SR20DET engine with a ball-bearing turbocharger rated at 250 hp (184 kW) and SR20DE engine rated at 165 hp (121 kW).
With S15 Silvia, Nissan not only upgrade and revised the previous styling patterns but also applied the contemporary designing trends both on the exterior and interior of the car.
The car was offered in Japan, Australia and New Zealand, while in some other countries it was available as grey imports. It bore the Nissan 200SX nameplate in Australian and New Zealand markets.