1 Nov 2000
A cash-strapped Nissan obviously couldn’t afford to do much other than redesign its underrated Silvia/200SX sports coupe inside and out – leaving the underbody pretty much the same as the ’94 S14.
Yet someone at Nissan was obviously listening because the S15 200SX was everything a sports coupe should be, but now with a real sense of visual style that was sorely lacking in the previous model.
The entry-level Spec S - which does without the rear spoiler, side skirts, sunroof and CD stacker of the pricier Spec R - is the more aesthetically pleasing package.
The carryover 2.0-litre twin-cam 16-valve turbocharged and inter-cooled four-cylinder engine continued to produce 147kW of power at 6400rpm and 265Nm of torque at 4800rpm.
And like before the chassis borrowed some components from the 1990s Nissan 300ZX, such as the multi-link rear suspension, although it has its own MacPherson strut front end.
Nissan did fit a new, slick-shifting six-speed manual gearbox, but brought over the old four-speed automatic from the last model.
Every S15 offered anti-lock brakes, dual front airbags, alloy wheels, brake-assist technology, remote central locking, a limited slip differential, power windows, and sports seats.
The limited edition Spec S GT from May 2002 added a rear spoiler and a few trim modifications.
Though a big success in Australia, the S15 200SX was scuttled by new emissions regulations in Japan that saw production of its engine – and ultimately the car itself – discontinued in late 2002.
Sports car enthusiasts worldwide miss it.