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GT farewell for 200SX

Dominant performer: The GT is expected to be the top-selling 200SX for the rest of its short life.

More equipment for Nissan's sports blaster headlines a rush of new limited editions and model lineup changes

8 May 2002

NISSAN is farewelling its 200SX coupe model by introducing a higher-spec GT version.

The former Motor magazine performance car of the year ends production in Japan late this year and Australian stock should run-out by early 2003.

The GT was planned before the turbo 2.0-litre was formally chopped by Nissan because of upcoming Japanese emission requirements, and rather than a limited edition as originally envisaged, it will now be available to the end of the model's life.

In fact, Nissan Australia expects the GT to account for up to 80 per cent of 200SX sales for the rest of the year, leaving only scraps for the standard Spec S and Spec R.

The good news for performance car fans is that the end of the 200SX will dovetail neatly with the launch of a new performance icon for Nissan, the 350Z, which is due early 2003. The bad news is the 350Z will be significantly more expensive than the 200SX.

The GT's additions are fundamentally cosmetic, comprising a new, larger rear wing, front leather seat trim and leather steering wheel, polished chrome alloy wheels, drilled pedals and chrome manual transmission finish and chrome interior doorhandles.

And, of course, the obligatory GT badging.

That's added to a standard equipment level that already includes air-conditioning, dual airbags, anti-lock braking and remote central locking.

The GT adds $2000 to the price of the six-speed manual Spec S, taking that to $42,990, and $1500 to the higher grade manual Spec R, taking that to $46,490. Add a further $2000 for the four-speed auto.

The 200SX GT is the latest value pack from Nissan, which has already launched the Patrol and Pulsar Plus this year. It will also add a more luxurious Ti X-Trail compact four-wheel drive this month, although this will be a permanent addition rather than a limited edition.

Appropriately called the Ti Luxury, this model adds a large glass sunroof, leather seat trim and rear armrest with boot access for a $2000 premium over the Ti. This makes its pricing $37,990 in manual form and $39,990 with the optional automatic.

And Nissan is not alone in playing the limited edition and model rejig game:* Holden has announced a 1000-off version of the Ute called the Storm, which offers $2400 in additional value compared to the standard V6-powered S model on which it is based.

Key additions include air-conditioning, anti-lock brakes, FE2 sports suspension and dual airbags, replacing the driver-only airbag offered standard with the S.

Cosmetic features include 16-inch alloy wheels, SS-model side skirts, leather/cloth seat trim, leather wrapped steering wheel and titanium-finish instrument panel and console.

The Storm Ute is priced at $31,990 for the five-speed manual, compared to $29,150 for the S, while the four-speed auto is $32,750, compared to $29,920 for the S auto.

* Proton Cars Australia has relaunched and revised its entry level Satria GLi with a new price of $14,990.

The Satria GLi now features a 64kW/120Nm 1.5-litre engine, air-conditioning, CD /AM/FM audio system, power steering, power windows and remote control central locking.

* Hyundai is releasing limited editions of its Santa Fe and Terracan four-wheel drives and its Trajet people-movers, to celebrate Hyundai Motor Company's automotive sponsorship of the 2002 soccer World Cup, which will be held in South Korea and Japan in June.

Each World Cup model offers between $2000-$2500 recommended retail worth of extra features free and if bought before June 17, owners earn a chance to win one of three trips for two to the World Cup final in Japan and Hyundai facilities and sightseeing in South Korea.

* Honda Australia has realigned the price of its Civic hatch and added alloy wheels as part of a value-for-money strategy for the 2002 Civic range.

The Civic Vi is now priced at $25,950 with manual transmission and $27,950 for automatic transmission - a saving of $1000 in both cases.

The Civic Vi's 15-inch alloy wheels add to a standard equipment which includes a 96kW, 1.7-litre VTEC LEV engine, dual SRS airbags, anti-lock brakes, electric power steering, air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors, remote central locking, immobiliser and in-dash CD stereo.

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