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Nissan Silvia

Nissan Silvia

Nissan Silvia
Body Style(s)2-door coupe, 2-door convertible
LayoutFR layout
Engine(s)2.0 L DOHC-I4 (SR20DE), 2.0 L DOHC Turbo-I4 (SR20DET)
Transmission(s)5 or 6 speed manual transmission
4 speed automatic
Wheelbase99.4 in (2525 mm)
Length175.0 in (4445 mm)
Width66.7 in (1695 mm)
Height50.6 in (1285 mm)
Curb Weight2650-2800 lb (1200-1270 kg)
Engine(s) SpecsWater cooling serial 4 cylinder DOHC16 valve IC turbo
Power250 hp (184 kW) @ 6,400 rpm
Torque28.0kg-m (275nm) @ 4,800 rpm
Redline (RPM)7,500-7,800 rpm
Transmission(s) Specs5 or 6 speed manual transmission/ 4 speed automatic
Rated Performance
Top Speed180 km/h (Japanese Limiter)
Acceleration0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 5.5 seconds
Standing 1/4 Mile13.8 seconds


The Nissan Silvia is the name given to the company's long-running line of sport coupes based on the Nissan S platform. Although recent models have shared this chassis with other vehicles produced by Nissan (most notably the European 200SX and North American 240SX in the S13 and S14 generations, and 180SX in the Japanese market), the name Silvia is not interchangeable with the chassis codes.

Current Production

Japan saw a new version of the Silvia (S15) in 1999, now boasting 250 hp (184 kW) from its SR20DET engine, thanks to a slight turbocharger upgrade, as well as improved engine management. The SR20DE (non-turbo motor) featured only 165 hp (121 kW).

The S15 Silvia included aggressive styling inside and out; upgrades to the chassis and suspension, including increased use of light alloy suspension components; and for the first time, a six-speed manual transmission (in addition to a 5-speed manual transmission and a four-speed automatic). Also for the first time, instead of a viscous limited slip differential, the S15 offered a more effective helical limited slip unit.

For the S15 Silvia, the model lineup was initially simplified to just the Spec-S (non-turbo) and Spec-R (turbo), both models offering an "Aero" variant with a large rear wing and mild ground effects. The Spec-R featured the available 6-speed manual transmission, increased body and suspension rigidity, 4-piston front brake calipers, a larger brake power booster, the upgraded helical limited slip differential, and HICAS (High Capacity Active Steering) four wheel steering as an option; the Spec-S featured only a 5-speed manual transmission (in addition to a 4-speed automatic available on both the Spec-S and the Spec-R), lacks the additional support structures of the Spec-R, 2-piston front brake calipers, a slightly smaller brake power booster, and the viscous limited slip differential.

The line was later expanded to include various luxury and upgrade option packages for both the Spec-S and Spec-R. Autech, Nissan's special-car division, also offered several tuned versions of the S15; one with body and interior trim modeled after the Ferrari 456, called the style-A, available in both Spec-S and Spec-R based trims; and a second tuned version was based of the Spec-S trim level with the engine output increased to 200 hp through the use of increased compression, more aggressive camshafts, and free-breathing intake and exhaust tracts, along with ECU tuning and upgrades to the chassis and suspension. This version also included the 6-speed transmission and other upgrades normally found only in the Spec-R.

There was also a convertible variant of the Silvia, called the Varietta, featuring a folding retractable hardtop. The Varietta was built by Autech and was based on the Spec-S model, featuring the same naturally aspirated engine, with a choice of the 4-speed automatic transmission or the 5-speed manual transmission.

Production of the Silvia ended in August of 2002 amidst Nissan's efforts to reduce its myriad of platforms. Nissan's sole sports car platform in the world is now the FM Platform, which underpins the current Fairlady Z and Skyline; marketed in the United States as the 350Z and Infiniti G35 respectively.



The S-series' claim to fame is that it is one of the world's most popular drift cars, especially the S13 through S15 vehicles. It also has a long history in road racing. Its sister, the 240SX S13, was a multiple-time champion in the IMSA GTU series which its Silvia counterpart had a one make series in Japan. Silvias have been raced successfully in the JGTC and its predecessors. S110 and S12 Silvias also enjoyed limited success in rallying before AWD cars (including Nissan's own Pulsar GTI-R) proceeded to dominate the sport. During the S13's production, there was a one-make series in Japan.

Future Development

As of 2002, Nissan stopped producing the S platform with the S15-series Nissan Silvia being the final variant.

In early September of 2007, it was confirmed by a few unnamed Japanese magazines that Nissan is planning a new 4-cylinder, rear-wheel-drive, turbo sports coupe. Evidence of this confirmed report has been popping up all over the web with photos of what appears to be a test mule FM chassis that has been heavily chopped down and welded back together. The test mule FM chassis has been shortened quite a bit from a normal 350Z and resembles what appears to be a much smaller hatchback hybrid (this can be seen in the images on the doors, roofline, front bumper and bonnet).

It is speculated that with the GTR being re-released into the market all over the world, with the absence of the Silvia for so long, and the run away success of Nissan's FM chassis (the 350Z and G35/G37 and upcoming GTR) that the market place is ready once again for an affordable, turbo, rear drive sports car.

The new iteration of the Silvia is rumored to be priced in a very affordable range of 21,000 to 23,000 USD and will be available as soon as 2010.

Nissan has neither confirmed nor denied any of the above claims, however, in 2003 and 2004, during a few key Nissan press conferences, Carlos Gohsn was asked about the Silvia in Japan, Australia and even the US. His response to the "Silvia" question was simply "It is a good time to be a Nissan fan. Keep your eyes and ears open around the time the new GTR is being released as you may find a surprise."

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Source: Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License