Nissan NX

Carpedia

Jan 13th, 2020

Nissan NX

In the history of cars, none has had a far-reaching influence on its successors like the Nissan Pulsar. So far and wide is this influence that the Pulsar’s design and appearance are etched into several models many generations after Pulsar’s first debut. Such a successor is the Nissan NX, often referred to as Nissan’s most iconic fastback coupe. Moulded after the Pulsar, the NX did not shy away from picking some design cues from the iconic 'Back to the Future' DeLorean.

The Nissan NX is a front-engined, front-wheel-drive 2-door sports car made by Nissan Motors. The NX is a sporty adaptation of the Nissan Pulsar NX/Nissan EXA sold from 1987–1990. It also got some influence from the Nissan Sunny Coupe product designs that were sold from the 1970s and 1980s, and seemingly merged the Nissan B13 and N14 lineages. The Nissan NX's initial release was in Japan in 1990 at the turn of the decade. 

The NX first debuted in 1990 and was first released in Japan. Despite being a rather unconventional design at the time, the NX broke ground and just as quickly became a household name. From speeding down dusty race tracks to handling smooth paved roads, there was no place the NX could not go. Despite its rather short lifespan, the NX is among few production cars to be reinstated after their run times.

Its first generation was underpinned by Nissan's B platform. It was available as 2-door coupes and 2-door Targa Tops and offered with several powertrain options but varied depending on the market. The engine choices were:

  • 1.5-litre GA15DS inline-4 (72 kW, 128 Nm)
  • 1.6-litre GA16DS inline-4 (71 kW)
  • 1.6-litre GA16DE inline-4 (82 kW, 146 Nm)
  • 1.8-litre SR18DE inline-4 (92kW, 156 Nm)
  • 2.0-litre SR20DE inline-4 (75 kW)

At its launch, the NX was loosely based on the Nissan Pulsar but was meant to be a performance sports car. The trims were offered in these engines:

  • NX1600 - 1.6-litre Sentra GA16DE 
  • NX2000 - 2.0-litre SR20DE  

The NX's competitors were Mazda MX-3, Isuzu Piazza, Toyota MR2 and Honda Civic Del Sol. It featured a centre armrest, large iconic radiator, and performance-induced brakes. The NX's brakes would come to be a must-have inclusion in most upgraded B13 Sentra SE-Rs. The NX2000 boasted of excellent handling brought about by its lighter weight and enhanced chassis and a limited-slip differential.

It was launched in Australia as the Nissan NX-R under the model code B13 and was a coupe. It was available in a number of trims with the luxury trim model sporting a front lip that housed the lights, side skirts, a lipped rear spoiler, cruise control, leather steering wheel and gear knob, and ABS. The NX was also fitted with 14-inch alloy wheels, reminiscent of the Nissan Pulsar N14 SSS. It was capable of producing a whopping 105 kW of power and 178 Nm of torque from a 2-litre inline-4 SR20DE engine. The trim levels on offer at the time were: 

  • Base Automatic – 2.0-litre SR20DE inline-4 engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (105 kW and 178 Nm) 
  • Base Manual – 2.0-litre SR20DE inline-4 engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (105 kW and 178 Nm) 
  • R Luxury Automatic – 2.0-litre SR20DE inline-4 engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (105 kW of power and 178 Nm) 
  • R Luxury Manual – 2.0-litre SR20DE inline-4 engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (105kW and 178 Nm) 

Nissan NX Safety

In Australia, the 1991-96 Nissan NX was assessed in the Used Car Safety Ratings 2006 as providing “significantly worse than average” protection for its occupants in the event of a crash. 

Nissan NX Racing 

The NX track legacy has well been known over the years. It first appeared on the racetrack in 1992 holding its own against racing pacesetters, like the Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo, the Nissan Sentra and the Toyota MR2. The NX coupe set a world record at the Bonneville Speed Week event, clocking 279 km/hr. NX has made appearances in top three posts in various races in the '90s. 

After its first set of victories on the racetrack, the NX again came to handle a second season of high performance in 1993. After a while, the NX's glory faded off the racetrack, paling in comparison to the updated Nissan 240SX. However, in 2001, die-hard racing fans of the NX, the Kakashi racing team, worked on a project to reinstate the legendary NX back to its former glory. They reintroduced the Touring 2 championship. The NX garnered a win at the American Road Race of Champions. Its newfound winning streak reaffirmed the NX as the timeless racing classic that it is.

Yet, this powerhouse is not built for the racetrack alone. Its adaptability has seen the NX handle impressively both as a race car and a daily driver. So if you're in the market searching for a Nissan NX or some parts to bring this classic back to life, look no farther than Carpart.com.au. Order parts through our dedicated auto parts website and find the best deals directly from the sellers.

-RayKaz