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Nissan 200SX Information & History

The Silvia or S-chassis series of cars are Nissan's budget rear wheel drive (RWD), front mounted engine sports coupes on the Nissan S platform. Generally powered by a 1.8 L or 2.0 L inline-4 motor, the S-series chassis underpins a number of different cars, each generation being an evolution of the last.

Before the series of budget coupes, the Silvia name was first introduced in 1964. The CSP311 Silvia was a hand-built coupe based on the Fairlady convertible, styled with input from Albrecht Goertz. Production ceased in 1968 after a mere hundreds were made.

Prior to the now very popular 240SX found in the United States (S13 180SX,S14 Silvia in Japan) which was produced after 1988, there were more Silvias. In the US they were called the 200SX, Australia the Gazelle, Finland and Norway they were called the 180ZX, and in Japan they were called the Silvia. The S10 was the first under the S chassis code, it was relatively boxy, but was state of the art for its day. The S11 was next. This Silvia was one on its own because it featured a rotary engine, designed and built by Nissan. This engine however was fairly unreliable, and never made it to full production. Next in the series is the S110. Cosmetically the same as the S11 it featured a piston engine to allow Nissan (Datsun at the time) to make up for the rotary failure. The S12 featured many parts off of the Nissan Z platform.

The S12 platform was produced from late 1983 to early 1989. The US 1984-1986 Hatchback came with either the CA18ET or CA20E and the 1987-1988 Hatchback came with either the VG30E or CA20E. Coupe models were only equipped with the CA20E. It is interesting to note that only the US models had the VG30E option in 1987 and 1988. In Canada the 1984-1988 Hatchback came with either the CA18ET or CA20E. And once again Coupe models were only equipped with the CA20E. In Australia, Europe, and Japan quite a few differnet engines were available. The CA20E was available in all of these areas throughout the entire production run. Both a coupe and a hatchback were available in these markets. 1984-1988 Hatchbacks were available with any engine offered in the given area(FJ20E,CA20E,CA18ET) but the Coupe was only available with the CA20E; unless you purchased the RS-X version which came with the FJ20ET. The FJ20ET and the FJ20E are dual cam motors, it is just not denoted in the engine code. To find out more information on these cars, please visit

S12 Breakdown: America---200SX. Canada---Silvia. Europe---180ZX or Silvia. Australia---Gazelle or Silvia. Japan---Silvia.

The S13 Silvia was never officially exported, but was immensely popular in Japan. Nissan used the 180SX (based on S13 Silvia but with fastback coup styling and pop-up lights) as the basis for the export spec 200SX/240SX. The S13 is one of the first uses of Nissan's multi-link rear suspension, the technology of which was previewed in concept cars in previoous years.

In 1995, with the advent of the S14 Silvia, Nissan once again exported variants of the Silvia as the 200SX/240SX to key markets.

The model name varied between Japan (Silvia), Europe (200SX), Australia (Gazelle, 200SX) and the United States (240SX) Note that the 200SX name was also used in the United States on a different car, a 2-door variant of the Nissan Sentra.

The U.S. S14 (the car was sold in the US from 1995 until 1998) were powered by the KA24DE, a naturally aspirated, 2.4 L pickup truck engine often swapped by tuners for the SR20DET engine used elsewhere. The early 1990s Japanese S13s were powered by the CA18DET, but all S13s circa 1991 were powered by a SR20DET. All UK S14s received the SR20DET. Some tuners occasionally swap RB-series engines from the Nissan Skyline into their S-chassis, but this is a difficult and expensive process.

In Japan, Europe, and Australia, the S13/14/15 Silvia and S14/15 200SX used a coupe-type body style with a standard notchback trunk and exposed headlights on all models excecpt the S13 Silvia softtop convertible and the S15 Silvia Varietta (a non-turbocharged, Japanese-market, hardtop convertible). The Japanese/European/Australian model S14 Silvia/200SX and the US market S14 240SX had different front facias, but otherwise used the same body. The S15 Silvia/200SX came in coupe and aforementioned Varietta convertible models, with the Spec S being naturally aspirated and the Spec R models being turbocharged. The S-series chassis cars gained a reputation for being excellent vehicles to learn motorsports on, due to their manuverability and their quick, but not extreme speed. In Japan, the S13 Silvia was also considered a "date car."

The S-series family's other claim to fame is that it is perhaps one of the top drift cars in the world, especially the S13 and S15 vehicles. The very limited Sil-Eighty (S13 Silvia front, S13 180SX rear) was produced in 1994 because of this reason. There were 400 officially produced by Nissan although car modifiers often converted 180 SX's and S13's into Sil-Eightys. This also started other modified S-series combinations such as the strawberry face (S15 front, 180 SX rear) and S13.5 (S13 front, S15 rear) although none were officially produced.

As of 2002, Nissan stopped producing the S-series with the S15-series Nissan Silvia being the final variant. No production plans are in place to bring this vehicle back.

The Nissan Sentra is a compact economy car made by Japanese automaker Nissan and is generally a rebadged export version of the home-market Nissan Sunny. The name is not used in Japan. In some Asian countries, it denotes a version of the Nissan Pulsar.

It was introduced for the 1982 model year as the US export name for the Sunny. Many other countries in the Americas, including Mexico and Brazil, sell their versions of the Sunny as the Sentra.

The current American-market Nissan Sentra comes with either a 1.8 L four-cylinder QG18DE engine producing 126 horsepower (94 kW), or the same 175 horsepower (123 kW) 2.5 L four-cylinder QR25DE engine used in the Nissan Altima 2.5S. Brazilian Sentras only have the smaller 1.8 L unit.


The 1991-1994 generation was the first to offer Nissan's famous and then-new SR20DE engine in the SE-R model. Setting subcompact speed and fun-to-drive records of the time, the SE-R could shoot to 60 MPH in 7.4 seconds, stop on a dime with 4-wheel disc brakes, and cut corners with its strut independent suspension.


Nissan's little car took several backward steps for 1995. First was blander styling and cheaper interior materials. Second was the permanent loss of its independent rear suspension. Third was slower and less-direct steering. Enthusiasm waned. The two-door Sentra was renamed 200SX and it took the sporty SE-R model with it, though the sedan got all the go-fast parts back in 1998 with the Sentra SE.


Sentra finally crossed over into the "compact" class this year. The 1.6 L engine was dropped in favor of a 1.8. All in all, it was pretty similar to the last Sentra except for production having been moved to Mexico, which might be the culprit for mediocre reliability according to Consumer Reports. All previous Sentras were built in Tennessee and were formerly reliable. In 2002, the SE became the SE-R (165hp) again and traded its SR20DE engine for the Altima's torquier but lower-revving QR25DE. The SE-R also came with a 6-speed manual transmission, named SE-R Spec-V(175hp). 2004 saw a facelift for all Sentras. Nissan started cost-cutting and took the front stabilizer bar out of 1.8 L models.


An all new Sentra will debut in the 07 model year.


The Sentra SE-R was on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1991 through 1994.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from articles at Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia

Most Popular Parts For Nissan 200SX

1984 - 1988 Nissan 200SX(4 Cyl.) Air Filter

 Part # B1000-37445

Year Range: 1984 - 1988
Model: 200SX(4 Cyl.)
Application: Air Filter

Category: Nissan Filters

1984 - 1988 Nissan 200SX(4 Cyl.) Front Wheel Bearing
Brand: SKF

 Part # K8000-27798

Year Range: 1984 - 1988
Model: 200SX(4 Cyl.)
Application: Front Wheel Bearing
Notes: Inner

Category: Nissan Driveshaft & Axle

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