Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Nissan Pulsar is a small car manufactured by Nissan of Japan and was originally conceived as a front-drive replacement for the company's Nissan Cherry (also known as the Datsun 100A/120A). Almost all of the models produced were of a front wheel drive configuration, however in the early 1990s Nissan did produce the all wheel drive turbocharged Nissan Pulsar GTi-R (see N14 series for details).
It was first released in 1978. This N10 series was exported to Australia with the Datsun Pulsar name. This model was known as the Datsun Cherry or Datsun 100A/120A/130A/140A/150A in Europe and the Datsun 310 in the USA. The Nissan Langley, from 1980, was a more upmarket Pulsar.
The Pulsar was available as a three- or five-door hatchback sedan, a three- or five-door van or station wagon, a three-door fastback coupé with wraparound rear window, and a short-lived four-door fastback sedan.
A more angular version was announced in mid-1982. This model was also built in Italy by Alfa Romeo as the Arna (named after the joint venture which created it, Alfa Romeo Nissan Autoveicoli), using Alfa Romeo engines. Confusingly, the Italian models were also sold with Nissan badges, in Japan as the Nissan Pulsar Milano and in Europe as the Nissan Cherry Europe. At Alfa Romeo, the Arna was meant to replace lesser versions of the popular Alfasud, but never had the Italian car's appeal. By this time, Nissan had more or less standardized its naming policy worldwide, so as a Nissan it tended, with few exceptions, to be known as a Pulsar.
Those exceptions included related models in the Japanese home market. The Nissan Langley was a four-headlamp Pulsar with more powerful engines. The Nissan Liberta Villa was a four-door version. The Nissan Pulsar EXA was a two-door coupé version with pop-up headlights.
The Pulsar EXA was known in North America as the Pulsar NX and shared many of its parts with the Nissan Sentra. This version of the Pulsar NX was available from 1983 to 1986 and came with either the fuel injected turbocharged E15et engine or the carbureted non-turbo E16s engine.
The Langley was built in Australia as the Nissan Pulsar, while the more standard Pulsar appeared there as a Holden Astra.
In 1986, with Nissan's design chief refusing to follow the smooth, aerodynamic look of other companies, and a squarer Pulsar (N13 series) was released. Innovations included a four-wheel-drive model. The Pulsar–Astra relationship continued in Australia, with the Langley sold as the Pulsar there and the four-door sedan version of the Nissan called the Vector. In countries such as New Zealand, the Sunny and Pulsar ranges were combined into a single model range, the Nissan Sentra—which differed (apart from the station wagon) from the models sold under the same name in the United States. In Europe, it was sold as the Nissan Sunny, unrelated, however, to the Sunny sold in Asia. In South Africa it was sold as the Nissan Sabre . There were three-, four- and five-door sedans.
The EXA was spun off into its own line, with an innovative modular rear end: customers could opt for a coupé, hatchback or an open-top car depending on what they put on. This version of the EXA was available in North America under the name Pulsar NX and was sold from 1987 to 1990. The EXA/Pulsar NX cars were replaced in 1991 with the Nissan NX Coupe.
External link: nissanexa.com
In 1990, the N14 model finally saw Nissan conform to the rounded look. There was no Holden equivalent. The Vector name continued in Australia in this series, from 1992 to 1995. It continued to be offered in New Zealand as the Sentra. In Europe, the Sunny name continued, applied to three-, four and five-door models, alongside the Sunny California station wagon from Japan (called either the Sunny Estate or Sunny Traveller). The Langley and Liberta Villa models were not offered.
This generation was badged as the Nissan Sabre in South Africa, and the Nissan Sunny in the United Kingdom. The Pulsar was Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for 1991. Also, a coupé model was offered in this generation, called the Nissan NX100 .
The N14 series also saw the introduction of the Nissan Pulsar GTi-R (labelled the Nissan Sunny GTi-R in the United Kingdom). It featured a turbocharged SR20DET engine producing 174 kW (233 bhp) of power, as well as an early version of the ATTESSA all wheel drive system, which was developed into the far more sophisticated electro-hydraulic ATTESSA-ETS system found on the Nissan Skyline GT-R.
The GTi-R, which was identified as a RN14 model, was entered by Nissan into the World Rally Championship. However, it did not prove to be very competitive, and many believe it was hampered by excessive weight over the front wheels, causing a deficiency in handling where the car could understeer excessively. The GTi-R raced under the Nissan Motorsport Europe banner, in Group N of the Championship.
In 1995, the N15 Pulsar was launched and sold in Europe as the Nissan Almera. New Zealand Sentras changed names (to Pulsar) during this generation as local assembly of the range ceased in favour of imports from Japan. Again, three-, four- and five-door models were offered. The station wagon continued to be from the Sunny range, later spun off in Japan into the Nissan Wingroad.
In 2000, Nissan launched the N16 Pulsar range, which included a minivan version (the Nissan Almera Tino or Nissan Tino) for the first time. The Wingroad continues to be badge-engineered as the Pulsar Wagon or Almera Traveller in many countries.
To keep the Bluebird nameplate alive, Nissan shifted it to the four-door version of the Pulsar, and called it the Nissan Bluebird Sylphy in Japan. Unlike other Pulsars, the Bluebird Sylphy has a "formal", chrome grille.
In the Philippines and the Taiwan, the Bluebird Sylphy is sold as the Nissan Sentra. In New Zealand and Thailand, the five-door Pulsar is imported from the UK, while the four-door model is essentially a rebadged Bluebird Sylphy. Consequently, each body style has a different front end.
In Thailand and the People's Republic of China, the N16 Bluebird Sylphy is sold as the Nissan Sunny.
The Nissan X-Trail was spun off from this platform.
Nissan is expected to replace the Almera with models based on the Renault Mégane platform. In Japan, the Nissan Tiida and Tiida Latio sedan replaced the Pulsar in 2004, while Europeans may get niche vehicles to replace the mainstream Almera range.
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