Last month, Chris Barker outlined his plan to pour scorn on ten unsuspecting Japanese coupes. Well now it’s time to get serious, with the humble and much maligned Nissan 100NX the first victim.
Of course, this is PetrolBlog. A place where the unfashionable have a home. A place of solitude, where cars like the Nissan 100NX are amongst friends. So after Chris has presented the case for the prosecution, PetrolBlog will deliver some kind of defence.
Nissan 100NX: the prosecution
According to that old adage, beautiful things come in small packages. And I guess if they’re referring to Doctor Who’s new assistant, Baby Bels and Lego figures, then they’re definitely on to something. But that theory is blasted straight out of the water when confronted with the nightmarish automotive vision of the Nissan 100NX.
OK, the Nissan 100NX was, admittedly, diminutive in stature, yet gargantuan in hideousness. Designed, presumably, as an entry level/peasant spec Nissan 300ZX, this abomination indeed came with a wheel in each corner and a steering apparatus designed to sit directly in front of the driver. And the similarities started and ended there.
OK. I tell a lie. They both had a targa roof in common. Unfortunately a targa top doesn’t a sports car maketh. If further proof is needed, just take a ganders at a Rover 218 Coupe of a mid-1990s vintage. The Nissan 100NX was a breed apart, mind.
A hateful, snotty nosed little street urchin that you’d turn a blind eye to if you happened on it being bullied on the mean streets of downtown Bishop’s Stortford. A car so meaningless and futile that I’m bereft of anything even remotely positive to say about it. A car that fronted a measly 1.6-litre engine that catapulted the horrid little blighter toward the distant (and still distant. And still very distant. Not there yet. What time’s dinner tonight, mum?) 60mph horizon in a tortoise-tastical 10.5 seconds.
And to ensure that 100NX owners kept The Samaritans on speed-dial, with a keen tailwind and a steeply raking downhill gradient, the 100NX would ‘hit’ 121mph full tilt. Wikipedia best sums it up, when, within the first paragraph of its unbiased description, it suggests; ‘The NX was, loosely, an evolution of the Nissan Pulsar NX/Nissan EXA sold from 1987–1990 and the Nissan Sunny lines of the 1980, merging the Nissan B13 and N14 lineages’. ‘Nuff said.
Nissan 100NX: the defence
Come now, Chris. Let’s not be beastly to the 100NX. You need to remember that the car was launched back in 1992, and things were very different then. It was a year full of disappointments, like England’s miserable showing in the Euro Championships and the end of Oracle on the television. It was also the year where our collective heads were filled with the images of an MP who allegedly had a thing for a Chelsea football shirt, along with a taste for toes.
Against such a backdrop, the Nissan 100NX was a much sunnier proposition. Indeed, it was a whole lot brighter than the Sunny it was based on.
Yes, a 1.6-litre engine developing 89bhp – later increased to 101bhp – was a pretty miserable amount of power for a car with sporting intentions. But on the plus side, it could deliver as much as 40mpg.
Of course, this meant you’d end up spending less time showing off your fancy targa-top in the petrol station. Still, it would have looked very smart parked outside the One Stop on the corner of Primrose Avenue. And it undercut the Rover 216i Coupe by some £2k. Admittedly, PetrolBlog would have opted for the Sunny SR and saved a further £1k, but that’s not the point.
And does it really look that bad in 2014? If you wait until midnight, turn off all the lights, stand a mile or so back and squint a little, it could almost pass as baby Nissan Skyline. And it’s the kind of car young drivers should cut their teeth on, before upgrading to more illustrious motors. Resist the temptation of a £199 per month payment plan on a basic city car, and opt for some Oriental targa goodness. Albeit of the Leyton Orient variety.
Just over 600 and left and yours for half a bag of sand. It’s a veritable steal.
Not convinced? Then allow this slightly disturbing, yet delightful TV advert to seal the deal.
Main images © Nissan. German image courtesy of Wikipedia.