The year 1991 might have very well been, for enthusiasts at least, peak Nissan. In a three-part series that year, Best Motoring covered the entire range of Nissan’s specialty cars, and there were tons of them. Sure, there were the expected flagship models like the Skyline GT-R and Fairlady Z, but Nissan also provided tons of more affordable options from hatchbacks to full-size sedans. Behold this epic lineup.
To properly honor Nissan’s portfolio of driving machines, Best Motoring enlisted the help of legendary Japanese motoring journalist Aritsune Tokudaiji to present the cars.
Models covered include the B13 Sunny (known as the Sentra SE-R in the US), Pulsar GTI-R, P10 Primera (Infiniti G20), Infiniti Q45, President, Silvia Q’s and Silvia K’s, 180SX, Z32 Fairlady Z, R32 Skyline GTS-t and GT-R. They’re pitted against other top performance cars of the era, including the Mitsubishi GTO Twin-Turbo, FC3S Mazda RX-7 Turbo, and Toyota Supra Turbo A.
No matter how many doors or cylinders it had, every car was infused with a soul. There’s something immensely satisfying about watching Takashi Ohi sling an S13 though a touge road, just as it’s incredibly thrilling to watch a Group A R32 Skyline GT-R push ever harder towards a 300 kph run.
The drag races and Tsukuba Circuit free-for-all is in typical fashion less than scientific, but entertaining nonetheless. And the final installment covers racing machines of the era, like the Pulsar GTI-R NISMO rally car, and N1 Skyline GT-R.
It’s an astonishing catalog of Nissan’s once sheer dominance of performance and motorsports activities in Japan. Since Nissan is ramping up the making of reproduction parts for 90s cars now, perhaps this video can provide some suggestions as to which should come next.
Certainly a far cry from the bland, boring, and utterly forgettable range of cars they currently sell in the US.
Agreed. Nissan needs to take a long hard look at themselves in light of their fantastic history and a vast fanbase that has little to nothing they can cling to in the current lineup.
The problem with all of the Japanese manufacturers these days, at least in my opinion, is that market research, deeply flawed, has caused them to “Americanize” their lineups in the forgettable, androgynous lumps they currently build. And in the process, have lost themselves, and all that made them unique, inspiring and fun in the past.
Must watch this at home, I think I see a C33 Laurel in there !!
On a related note, MotorWeek just published their B13 Sentra SE-R road test.
Pre-Ghosn Nissan is best Nissan