Nissan’s iconic sports car nameplate could return in the coming years with batteries and electric motors, a new report suggests.
The iconic Nissan Silvia sports car – also known to Australians in various forms as the Nissan 200SX or Gazelle – could return in 2025 with retro looks and all-electric power, a new report out of Japan suggests.
Reputable Japanese magazine Best Car claims that in a bid to show its heritage will continue as the industry moves to electric cars, Nissan is preparing to revive its iconic ‘affordable’ Silvia (or 200SX) sports car – sold from 1965 to 2002 across up to seven generations (depending on market) – with electric (EV) propulsion in 2025.
The publication says the reborn Silvia EV will take inspiration from a prior generation of the sports car nameplate – but rather than the S13, S14 or S15 (some badged as 200SX in Australia) generations that grew to prominence through video games and 2000s tuner culture, Nissan will draw from the original ‘CSP311’ Silvia of 1965.
The original Silvia was sold in Australia as a Datsun in the late 1960s in limited numbers – to the tune of 49 cars, it’s believed, of the total 554-unit global production run – though it’s later generations that local buyers will remember most, badged as the
Best Car claims the plan to revive the Silvia nameplate as an electric car originated out of sketches created by Nissan Design Europe vice president Matthew Weaver in September (above), which “drew a lot of attention” and “triggered a revival of the Silvia [as a] pure EV”.
No mechanical details of the new Silvia/200SX are given online by Best Car, so it remains to be seen whether the new Silvia EV rides on Nissan’s new CMF-EV modular electric platform – which only supports front- and all-wheel drive, a departure from the rear-drive layout used by all past Silvias.
The final ‘S15’ Silvia models in Australia squeezed outputs of 147kW and 265Nm from their tuner-favourite 2.0-litre ‘SR20DET’ turbocharged four-cylinder engines (or 184kW/275Nm in Japan) – figures a rear-mounted electric motor would likely beat.
The Best Car report represents the first rumours suggesting an electric Silvia is on the cards – and Nissan is yet to confirm such a model for production.
However, it’s not the first time a new ‘S16’ Silvia has been rumoured, with Japanese website Spyder7 claiming in 2017 a new-generation model with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine would be revealed imminently, for a 2018 launch – claims which never eventuated.
Nissan revealed the IDx Freeflow and Nismo concepts in 2013, which previewed what a new entry-level Nissan coupe could look like (inspired by the Datsun 510 of the 1960s) – though as a company engineer reportedly revealed online in 2019, low profit margins and niche sales nixed plans to bring it to market.
Speaking to Drive about a 200SX successor in 2014, then-Nissan marketing and strategy boss Roel de Vries said: “Now, is there an opportunity for a lightweight rear-wheel drive affordable [sports car] underneath [the 370Z]? It’s an ongoing discussion as to whether we need to do that. I am not sure if that is critical to the story in terms of what we are trying to do.”
Best Car claims the reborn, electric Nissan Silvia/200SX is slated to go on sale in 2025 – stay tuned to Drive for all the latest updates.
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