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Nissan Reimagines One of its Classic Models as an EV

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Sometimes it’s just about letting the imagination run wild. Nissan has just shared renderings of a reimagined new all-electric version of one of its classic old models, designed by Matthew Weaver, vice president of Nissan's European design division. Meet the modern version of a classic car from the brand's history, the Silvia.

This is not Nissan's first nod to the past, not even its first this year in fact: the recently unveiled Z sports a design that pays clear homage to its illustrious past.

Matthew Weaver's design is inspired by the first generation of the Silvia model. The Silvia had made its debut at the 1964 Tokyo Motor Show and was released the following year. The car was partially hand-assembled and was based on the chassis of the Datsun Fairlady 1600 SP311. Incredibly, the company made only 554 of them over a three-year period, making it an extraordinary collector's item.

“The Silvia was ahead of its time, in a very quiet, understated way. It has aged very well and would still have its place on the roads today. It's also a great example of what is expected of a global product: high quality and universally appealing.”

- Matthew Weaver, vice president, Nissan European design division

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1965 Nissan Silva
Photo: Nissan
1965 Nissan Silva

The modern interpretation of the model retains the clean line that separated the body parts (upper and lower) on the original. The designer has modified the fender flares so that parts of the wheels disappear behind them.

At the front, we find very small round headlights. There’s no grille to cool the engine, given that this is an electric model there’s no engine to cool. At the rear, tiny strips for the lights follow the line that crosses the sides of the body.

1975 Nissan Silva
Photo: Nissan
1975 Nissan Silva

After the original edition had its run and disappeared, Nissan revived the Silvia in 1975, this time as a sports coupe. The model was positioned below the Z in the lineup, but with a slightly more practical - and above all affordable - approach. The vehicle kept this formula for decades until Nissan axed it from its Japanese lineup in 2002.

Nissan never used the Silvia name in the United States, though there were North American versions carrying the 200SX and 240SX names.

We have no idea if the company is seriously considering the idea of an electric Silvia, but this kind of design study can sometimes serve as a trial balloon. And if that’s so here, but we say, enthusiastically, Go For It!

Design study for the modern Silvia
Photo: Nissan
Design study for the modern Silvia