1979 S110 Silvia

1979 S110 Silvia

The ugly appearance of the S10 Silvia was forgotten with the 1979 introduction of the S110 Silvia. The S110 possessed the boxy styling that was to become fashionable during the ‘80s.Note that, in many markets, the S110 Silvia was badged as Gazelle while the US-spec versions continued with the 200SX name. Initially, the S110 was sold only as a notchback coupe (seen here) but a hatchback version was released not long into production.

A range of engines were available. Most S110s were fitted with basic L-series carby engines, while a new fuel injected 1.8 litre Z18 engine was available in up-spec versions in Japan. The high performer of the range was the turbocharged Z18ET engine which put out 100kW at 6000 rpm. We believe these versions were badged as 180SXs in Japan. In 1982, the S110 Silvia was updated and made available with an all-new 2.0 litre FJ-series 4-cylinder – the FJ20DE. The FJ20 brought a motorsport-inspired DOHC, 16-valve head and fuel injection. The FJ20DE was fitted to only 2000RS versions in coupe and hatchback body styles.

These are a relatively rare and desirable vehicle. Meanwhile, the hottest Nissan S110 available to American buyers was powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0 litre Z20E and, later, a 2.2 litre version. Neither were inspiring performers. It is rumoured that Nissan produced a handful of Silvias in the early ’80 powered by a rotary engine based on Mazda’s 12A twin-rotor.

These rotary-powered S11 Silvias were apparently a failure and the piston engine’d S110 Silvia was brought back into action. One version of the S110 Silvia you probably haven’t heard about is the 240RS. Built as a Group B rally special, the 240RS used a special version of the FJ20DE – a FJ24D. The FJ24D employed a stroker crank (taking swept capacity to 2.4 litres), new pistons and twin side-draught carburettors – output was around 176kW. Very few S110 240RSs were built and even fewer remain intact.

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