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WE CREATED A MONSTER! MAD MAX S15 RETURNS VERSION 3
The Nissan Silvia (Japanese: 日産・シルビア, Nissan Shirubia) 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 interchangeable with the chassis codes.
The "Silvia" name is a variation of the word "sylvia", which is a scientific genus term assigned to a class of birds, possibly a reference to the Bluebird which was in production at the time the Silvia was introduced.
The S13 Silvia, introduced in mid-1988 the 1989 model year, was immensely popular in Japan. At its introduction in 1988, it won the Car of the Year Japan Award. The Silvia was no longer exported, however; rebadged 180SX were instead sold in most markets. European versions of this car were still known as 200SX. In North America, the S13 (180SX front, all three different bodystyles) was known as the 240SX. In North America, the Nissan 200SX nameplate was on hiatus but would return on a 2-door coupe version of the B14 Nissan Sunny/Sentra (1995–99). Following industry trends, the S13 Silvia switched to relampable fixed headlights. Projector optics were offered as an option.
In Japan, Nissan renamed the Gazelle as the Nissan 180SX, which was exported primarily under the name Nissan 240SX. The 180SX served as the junior companion to the Fairlady ZX at Nissan Bluebird Store Japanese dealerships. As before, the Silvia was exclusive to Japanese dealerships called Nissan Prince Store next to the Skyline.
The S13 Silvia coupe was made from 1988 to 1994, overlapping with the S14 Silvia introduced in 1993. The Nissan Silvia used fixed headlights; whereas, the 180SX, simply a hatchback version of the Silvia, introduced at the same time used pop-up headlights. The hatchback version, called the 180SX, replaced the Gazelle name in Japan and remained in production until 1998.
The S15 Silvia included aggressive styling inside and out, updating the previous Silvia styling in-line with modern car design trends. The body dimensions were reduced from the previous generation so that it would comply with Japanese Government compact class, which had an effect on sales of the previous model.
Nissan Silvia spec-S in Japan
The S15 Silvia model lineup was initially simplified to just the Spec-S and Spec-R, both models offering an "Aero" variant with a large rear wing and side skirts/valances.
This generation of the Silvia was only sold in Japan, Australia and New Zealand but was available as a grey import in most other countries. In Australia and New Zealand the car was sold as the Nissan 200SX.
Within the Australian domestic market (AUDM), the S15 sold in 2 trim levels as noted above; Spec-S and Spec-R - however both models featured the SR20DET motor, albeit slightly detuned from the JDM spec cars. Nissan S15s were never officially sold with the naturally aspirated SR20DE engine in Australia or New Zealand. These two models were available at Nissan showrooms until the Nissan 200SX GT was introduced in 2002, the last year of production for the S15. Main differences here were namely the wheels being finished in a silver shadow chrome, chrome interior door handles, chrome gear selector surround, "sports" metal pedal set and an updated larger rear wing.
As of August 2002, Nissan stopped producing the S platform with the S15-series Nissan Silvia being the final variant. Production of the Silvia ended amidst Nissan's efforts to reduce its myriad of platforms. The S15 Silvia was therefore the last car to hold the Silvia badge. Nissan's worldwide sports car platform is now the FM platform, which underpins the current Fairlady Z (the 350/370Z outside Japan), as well as the 2001–present Nissan Skyline (the Infiniti G35/37 in North America).