Mention the Nissan Silvia, and JDM know-it-alls will run down the ins and outs of Nissan’s front-engine, rear-wheel drive, four-cylinder sports car without taking a breath. What some of them might not know is that the Silvia badge goes back many years, well before the popular S13 chassis (sold here as the Nissan 240SX) was introduced in the late ’80s.
The first Silvia, known internally as the CSP311, debuted in 1965. It was incredibly expensive due to its semi-handbuilt construction—double the cost of the next model in the lineup. Just a few hundred were built. After a hiatus, the name was brought back in the mid-’70s with the S10 chassis, which stole a few lines from the Skyline of that era, and so began the bloodline that continued in America up through the S14 chassis, while Japan got a final S15 chassis model that ended production in 2002.
But the original Silvia is a stylish icon of the 1960s, and so it’s no surprise that those within Nissan who know of its impact might want to have a little fun with that original Silvia silhouette. Nissan’s vice president of design Europe, Matthew Weaver, was asked to come up with his take on a modern version of the original Silvia. We get a hold of artist renderings regularly, but rarely do they come from a manufacturer’s team member.
The sleek creation carries the same bold body line that runs from the rear taillights all the way around the front bumper. Just under that line in the front you’ll notice the grill slats that work their way around the quad headlight treatment. The coupe’s original rear window angle is also incorporated, and you’ll spot some similarities in the rear quarter to trunk area, though the taillights are ultra-thin and wrap all the way around the side of the car.
The profile is the most stunning portion of the rendering as the body line coming off of the rear quarter panels is really the only visible connection between the top and bottom of the car. The A and B-pillars are darkened and offer a unique look. Adding to that, the wheels drawn out are large, their tires tucking slightly under the fenders both front and rear, and if you look at the original, it too was fitted with oversized wheels and tires for that time.
Part of the ask on this project was that it be imagined as an EV, and to that end, combustion engine necessities such as radiator grilles or exhaust outlets could be entirely ignored. The result is a stunning reimagining of Nissan’s earliest Silvia chassis.
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