In 1988, the Nissan 240SX was introduced in the North American market by Nissan Motors as a 2-door compact car replacing the previous 200SX (S12). Two different engines were used in the 240SX at different times of its production, i.e. the models produced between 1989 and 1990 came with a 2.4-L inline 4, KS24E engine, while the KA24DE engine was used in the models produced from 1991 to 1998. Using the Nissan S platform, two different generations of 240SX were produced, i.e. S13 (1989 to 1994) and S14 (1995 to 1998). Although, it was based on Nissan S platform, it resembled many of the other Nissan’s vehicle based on the same platform such as the Japanese Silvia and 180SX and the European 200SX.
It is important to note here that 240SX was far different from the 240Z or 280ZX, despite having resemblance in their names.
First Generation / S13 (1989–1994)
The first generation 240SX was introduced in 1989 by Nissan. The first generation 240SX was based on two models both of which were rear wheel drive. Both these models were available in two body styles, i.e. hatchback – offered in both base and SE trim and coupe – offered in base, LE and SE trims. Both the styles were available with similar front bodywork like the one seen in Nissan 180SX and also featured sloping front along with retractable headlights. Pop-up headlights were the most prominent feature that distinguished it from the Japanese equivalent, the Silvia which had fixed headlights.
The models introduced in 1989 and 1990 were equipped with naturally aspirated 140 hp (140 kW) 2.4-L SOHC KA24E engine with 3 valves per cylinder. These models were not offered with conventional 1.8-L DOHC CA18DET engine. Four-wheel disc brakes were made standard for S13, while anti-locking braking system was offered as an optional feature on SE trim. S13 came either a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission. Heads-up display (HUD) and digital speedometer were also offered in Coupe versions as part of Power Convenience Group. The S13 was often called as ‘Pig-nose’ because of its squared shape front bumper. The early models of S13 were also known as S13 Zenki.
Second Generation / S14 (1995–1998)
In 1994, Nissan introduced the completely revised model of 240SX called the S14. For second generation 240SX, the hatchback and convertible body styling were dropped and the only style offered was coupe. Where the overall length of the car was dropped, the wheelbase of the car was increased by inches (51 mm) as well as the track width. Comparing to the previous generation model, the curb weight for second generation was also reduced by 80 lbs. The automatic seatbelts were dropped in new generation in favor of conventional manual type, while fixed headlamps came back in place of retractable headlamps. Dual airbags were introduced to enhance the safety features.
The base model was offered with 4-lug, 15-inch wheels, a softer suspension, no rear sway bar, and no remote trunk opening option. However, the SE and LE versions received 5-lug, 16-inch alloy wheels, a stiffer suspension than the base model, and a rear sway bar.