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Nissan Micra (1982 - 1992)

Last updated 11 November 2013


Model Timeline

October 1981
Nissan presents the NX-01 concept

1 Nissan NX01 Concept

In 1981, Nissan unveiled the NX-01 concept at the Tokyo motor show. It was designed as a new 1.0-litre supermini, intended to slot in the range below the Cherry. The concept was praised at the time for its clean styling - a move towards European design, which alongside the Prairie had pundits speculating as to whether the cars were styled by Ital Design - but Nissan always denied this.

October 1982
Nissan March launched at the Tokyo Motor Show

2 Nissan March

Given just how the NX-01 looked like a production-ready car, rather than a one-off concept, it was no surprise to see the real thing appear at the same motor show just a year later. The production car - called the Nissan March in Japan - was available in 0.9-, 1.0- and 1.2-litre form, and it proved to be a big hit in its home market straight out of the blocks.

August 1983
Nissan launches the Micra in Europe

3 Nissan Micra (1)

For its European launch in 1983, the Nissan March was renamed the Datsun Micra. It would retain the Datsun name for another year before adopting Nissan - a time when the entire range was renamed. When it went on sale in the UK, it repeated its Japanese success, picking up young buyers from the outset. Although smaller and more cramped than the principal opposition, the Micra stood out for its mechanical refinement, light controls and eager acceleration.

March 1985
Nissan March Turbo launched in Japan

4 Nissan March Turbo K10GFTI

The 1985 Nissan March Turbo K10GFTI was the first of the quick Micras that we didn't seein the UK. It was a Japanese market-only car powered by a tax-friendly 1.0-litre turbocharged engine. In 1988, Nissan launched a follow-on 10,000-limited run version known as the Micra Superturbo (EK10GFR/GAR). The 1.0-litre turbo was upgraded to incorporate an advanced sequential supercharger and turbocharger that pumped out 108bhp at 6400rpm.

March 1989
Nissan Micra receives its first facelift

4 Nissan Micra (2)

The Nissan Micra was treated to its first facelift. It was identified by a lightly revised front end, consisted of a deeper bumper, new headlamps and a new front grille. Inside, the Micra received new seats and instrument graphics, and it also saw the introduction of the larger MA12 1.2-litre engine that developed 59bhp. Most importantly, the facelift marked the arrival of a new five-door version.

October 1989
Nissan Pike factory introduces Micra-based specials, starting with the Be-1

1985_Nissan _BE-1_concept _01

The 1989 Nissan Be-1 was the first individually-styled rebodied March built by the Pike Factory and first shown in concept form in 1987. It was originally shown in 1985 as a concept (above), and such was the positive response, the company pushed it into production, as a derivative of the March. It was the first of four such more overtly retro spinoffs from the K10 Micra; the S-Cargo, Figaro and Pao. The Be-1 was sold without the Nissan name. and was designed to be a fashionable city car. It succeeded - and visually was a success, looking like a modern supermini almost 25 years on.

Whereas the Be-1 was a timeless looking K10-based design, the Pao was unashamedly Retro in all of its interior and exterior detailing. It was first shown in 1987, but went on sale in April 1989. The Pao's retro details included an optional textile canvas-top, and these are the most desirable versions today. Entire prodction run was sold out in three months after 51,657 were built.

The Nissan S-Cargo was a wonderfully styled (and named!) small van that was based on the K10 Micra and built by the Pike Factory. It was inspired by the Citroën 2CV van, and even featured a single spoke steering wheel. The S-Cargo was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1989, and went on sale the following year. Approximately 12,000 S-Cargos were built, and they have subsequently been exported all over the world as a popular 'speciality' delivery vehicle.

October 1991
Nissan Figaro launched

21 Nissan Figaro 1991

'Back to the Future', exclaimed Nissan at the launch of the Figaro at the Tokyo Motor Show. The Nissan K10-based car was styled with a deliberate nod to the company's classic cars, such as the Fairlady, and was available in four colours were: Topaz Mist, Emerald Green, Pale Aqua and Lapis Grey. The Figaro was luxuriously equipped, with leather seats, air conditioning, CD player and an opening fabric roof. 12,000 were eventually built, and prospective buyers had to enter a lottery to be able to buy one of these cars. A popular classic car today, with hundreds now grey imported to the UK.

December 1992
Nissan March and Micra production ceases

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