Nissan Bluebird: Wikis

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The Nissan Bluebird is a compact- to medium-sized car launched in 1957. The nameplate still exists today on the Nissan Pulsar-based Nissan Bluebird Sylphy in Japan, and on the U13-based Nissan Bluebird in mainland China.

The Bluebird's traditional competitor was the Toyota Corona from almost the very beginning of the product line.

It is one of the longest-running nameplates from a Japanese automaker. It even spawned the S130 Fairlady Z/280ZX, which in turn spawned the Maxima (originally 910 Bluebird/S130 Fairlady Z based), the 160J/710/Violet/Auster/Stanza line, and the US-built Altima line.

Contents

Export and foreign-built model names

Export versions were sold variously as the Datsun 510, Datsun 180B (with 160B and 200B versions) and the Datsun Bluebird. The Nissan Bluebird nameplate began appearing around 1982 as the Datsun marque was phased out in favour of Nissan.

From 1981 to 1985, Australia followed the Japanese convention by calling its car the REdbird, and had a unique, facelifted rear-wheel-drive version for 1984 and 1985. That car was replaced in 1986 by the Nissan Pintara. It would be replaced by the successive Bluebird, also called Pintara, until 1992; then the range was brought in line with the Japanese model, for the U13 series from 1993 to 1997.

In the United States, the Bluebird was eventually sold as the Nissan Stanza. In 1992, the Stanza became the Nissan Altima. Currently, the Bluebird is not sold in North America; in 1998, the Altima was completely redesigned, becoming a model unique to the North American market.

The Bluebird sold in Europe between 1986 and 1990 was in fact a rebadged Nissan Auster—this was replaced by the Primera in Nissan's European line-up in 1990.

A six-cylinder version called the Maxima was released in the 1980s and became a separate model.

History

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210/211 series

Although Nissan's own materials indicate that the Bluebird name emerged in 1959, some records show that the name first adorned a 988 cm³, 34 hp four-door sedan in 1957, which was part of the company's 210 series. Its engine was based on an Austin design, as Nissan had been building the Austin A50 Cambridge under licence in the 1950s.

The 210 was known for doubling Nissan's production at the time and was the first Nissan to be exported to the United States. In the Republic of China the Bluebird 210 was manufactured by Yulon and got the local name Yue Loong Bluebird 700.[1]

In some markets, this model was exported as the Datsun 1000.

The 210 established an early reputation for reliability, with two of them winning the 1,000 cm³ class in the 1958 Australia Mobilgas Rally.

The 210 had succeeded the 110 series, sold as a two- and four-door sedan and offered from 1955 to 1957. This model bore the Convar or A110 model names and was powered by an 860 cm³, 20 hp four-cylinder engine. In some respects, the A110 is the forerunner of the modern Bluebird line. Incremental changes were denoted by 112, 113 and 114 codes, with the last model a 113 with a 210 engine.

Subsequent models included the 211 (October 1958) with cosmetic changes.

310 series

Datsun Bluebird 310
Nissan Bluebird series 310
Also called Yue Loong Bluebird 701
Yue Loong Bluebird 704
Assembly Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, JPN

The Datsun Bluebird which debuted for August 1959 was an all-new car. The 310 series had a 1 L engine from the 210 model. The 310 was built from 1960-1963. There were three models built: 310 (1960), 311 (1961), and 312 (1962-1963). In Taiwan the second Generation was manufactured by Yulon and got the name Yue Loong Bluebird 701. A late version of the model was known as Yue Loong Bluebird 704 and got new lamps, new engines and a new interior.

In July 1960, a five-door station wagon was added (WP310). The P310 was powered by the 1.2L Nissan E engine. A smaller engine version (simply called "310") was powered by the 1.0L Nissan C engine. The P311 and P312 (powered by the 1.2L Nissan E-1 engine) also had smaller engined versions ("311" and "312") that were powered by the 1.0L Nissan C-1 engine. The station wagon was also available for the 311 and 312. The 312 was also available in a deluxe version (DP312). By February 1961, a 1.2 L overhead-valve engine (codenamed E-1) became an option on a higher-trim DX model.

Styling tended to ape larger American cars. A very small number did make it to the United States, but were flops.

410/411 series

Datsun Bluebird 410
Datsun Bluebird R410
Also called Yue Loong Bluebird 705
Assembly Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, JPN

In September 1963, Nissan brought the Bluebird up-to-date with boxier styling, apeing the more European designs being produced in the United States. The 410 was built from 1964-1967. Two models were built: 410 (1964-1965), and 411 (1965-1967). A sporting model, the Bluebird SS, was launched in March 1964, with a tuned 1.2 L engine. Two versions of the SS were built: the DP410-MTK and the DP411-MTK. The DP410 was powered by the 1.2 L Nissan E-1 engine. The J15 powered the DP411. All SS models were equipped with a 4-speed manual transmission.

Initially, only a four-door sedan and five-door station wagon were in the range, but a two-door was added in September 1964. The two-door SS was launched in February 1965. The two-door was not available in the U.S. The 410 and 411 were also available in a deluxe version (DP410 and DP411).

The base engine was enlarged to a 1.3 L unit in May 1965 and a 1.6 L SSS model was launched the same month. This began a line of famous Nissans in Japan, with the Bluebird SSS a mainstay of the range until its deletion in 2001.

In Taiwan the Bluebird 410 was built and sold as an Yue Loong Bluebird 705.


510 series

Datsun Bluebird 510
Nissan/Datsun 1600 sedan
Also called
Datsun 1600 (D)
Yue Loong Bluebird 706 (Yulon, TW)
Production 1967 - 1971
Assembly Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, JPN
Body style(s) 4-door saloon/sedan
2-door saloon/sedan
5-door estate/wagon
2-door coupé
5-door wagon/estate
Layout FR layout
Engine(s) 1.3L L13 I4[2]
1.6L L16 I4 [2]
Transmission(s) 4 speed manual all-synchromesh[3]
Wheelbase 95.1 in (2416 mm)[2]
Length 162.2 in (4120 mm)[2]
Width 61.4 in (1560 mm)[2]
Height 55.2 in (1402 mm)[2]
Fuel capacity 10 imp gal (45 L; 12 US gal)[2]

The 510 is arguably the most famous Nissan Bluebird of them all in the US, where the Datsun moniker instantly brings this range to mind.

Launched in August 1967, it was one of the most comprehensive Bluebird ranges in terms of body styles: a two-door sedan, a four-door sedan, a five-door station wagon, and a two-door coupé (added in November 1968).

610 series

The 610 series was launched in Japan in August 1971 and was badged as the Bluebird-U. The meaning behind the U suffix is uncertain, but it has been suggested that it was an acronym for either User or Ultra. For the Japanese domestic market, the 610 was pitted against the Toyota Corona MkII. Also in Japan, the 610 was initially sold alongside the 510 but eventually replaced the 510. 610's were available in a 4dr, 2dr hardtop (HT), and five-door wagon. Trim levels in Japan were GL (Grand Luxe), SSS (Super Sports Sedan), DX (Deluxe) or STD (Standard). The 610 borrowed its suspension and drive train from the outgoing 510. Thus all 610's were equipped with the Nissan L-Series inline engines. Likewise, the 610 4dr & 2dr retained the class-leading, independent rear trailing arm design, while the wagon reused the rear live axle with leaf springs from the 510 wagon. In many export markets, including UK, Europe & Australia, the 610 was badged as the 160B or 180B with respect to particular engine displacement. From 1973-74, the USA was the only market outside of Japan to have its 610 HT models equipped with the unique, six-bulb tail lights that covered the entire rear panel, requiring the license plate to be mounted below the rear bumper. Most 610's world- wide came equipped with either a 4spd manual or 3spd automatic transmission, but a 5spd manual transmission was available in the Japan & Australia markets. As with the 510, SSS trim included misc. sport options and a higher output engine with twin-Hitachi carburetors. A Japan-only SSS-E model was equipped with Bosch EFI, and so was one of the first, mass-produced Nissan vehicles to be sold without a carburetor. Another 610 never exported was the inline-six 2000 GT(SAMEBLUE..SAME meaning Shark in Japanese). It came with stretched front end to accommodate the longer engine, but this model was not available in a wagon.

A minor upgrade to the front suspension (offset strut tops) for the 610 led to slightly improved handling before the introduction of the 810.

Related Models

Shortly after the introduction of the 610, Nissan launched a new line of slightly smaller cars utilizing parts and styling cues from the 610. This new line of cars was sold in various markets as the 140J/160J, Violet, or 710 and later as the Stanza. The use of the 710 name was a source of confustion because it implied that the model was either a larger, upscale version of the 610 (it was the opposite) or a newer model in the Bluebird line.

Racing History

A 610 4dr participated in the 1972 & 1973 East African Safari Rally. Bob Sharp drove his 610 HT race car to 2nd place overall in the SCCA B Sedan Championship for 1973 & 1974. The car achieved a first place for the 1976 SCCA B-Sedan Championship but with Elliot Forbes-Robinson driving.

810 series

Datsun Bluebird 810
(Datsun 160B/180B Bluebird in UK)
1979 Datsun Bluebird 1.8 GL.
Production 1976 - 1979
Body style(s) 4-door saloon/sedan
2-door coupé
5-door wagon/estate
Layout FR layout
Engine(s) 1.6L I4[3]
1.8L I4[3]
Transmission(s) 4 speed manual all-synchromesh[3]
Wheelbase 98.4 in (2499 mm)[3]
Length 167.7 in (4260 mm)[3]
Width 64.2 in (1631 mm)[3]
Height 54.7 in (1389 mm)[3]
Curb weight 2,390 lb (1,084 kg)[3]
Fuel capacity 13.2 imp gal (60 L; 16 US gal)[3]

The 810 was introduced in July 1976. Engine options were carried over but a 1.4 L was reintroduced in August 1978. The 160B, 180B and 200B were sold in export markets, with Australian magazine Wheels calling the 200B 'a 180B with 20 more mistakes.' Styling was an evolution of the 610's, with slightly squared off features but retaining a slight "coke bottle". No two-door sedan was available, but the four-door sedan, two-door hardtop coupé ( SSS Coupe) and five-door station wagon were offered.

At this time, with several UK auto-producers losing market share, Datsun had grabbed the headlines as the UK's leading car importer. The magazine Autocar road tested a 180B Bluebird and recorded a top speed of 101 mph (162 km/h) along with a 0-60 mph (0 – 96 km/h) time of 13.6 seconds.[3] The Datsun's overall fuel consumption for the test was 27.7 mpg (10.2 l/100 km).[3] For all three of these performance measurements, it was marginally better than the Ford Cortina 1600 GL which continued to dominate this sector in the UK, but both cars were beaten for speed and acceleration (though not for fuel economy) by the relatively crude Morris Marina 1.8HL.[3] It was probably more significant that the Bluebird had a manufacturer's recommended retail price, including sales taxes, of £2950 as against £3263 for the Ford and £3315 for the Morris.[3] The testers found the car matched the competition in most respects, though the brakes were criticised for being "not up to current standards".[3]

The Datsun 180B makes a cameo appearance as a monster truck in Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006.


910 series

Datsun Bluebird 910
Nissan Bluebird SSS (Japan-spec)
Also called Yue Loong Bluebird 921 (Yulon, TW)
Assembly Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, JPN

Nissan began realigning its export names with the home market with the 910 series in November 1979. The 'B' tags were dropped in favour of 'Bluebird', though the models were 'Datsun Bluebird' initially. The body style options remained the same but the look was characterized by a boxy style, considered modern at the time.

For the export models, a 'Nissan' badge began appearing in 1981, and the following year the Datsun name disappeared.

After eight years the Bluebird returned to the Taiwanese market. Yulon have replaced the vehicle by the more luxury Yue Loong VIP Brougham which was a sister model of the Datsun Violet SSS. The new model was the new entry class and now known under the name Yue Loong Bluebird 921.

U11 series

Nissan Bluebird U11
1985 Nissan Bluebird U11 Series.
1985 Nissan Bluebird 2.0 GL berline.
Also called Yue Loong Bluebird 931 (Yulon, TW)
Assembly Oppama, JPN

The Bluebird switched to front-wheel drive in October 1983, but retained the boxy styling of its predecessor. At the time, Nissan's design chief balked at curvy shapes and believed boxy ones would remain popular. With hindsight, that went directly against the trend and the market's obsession with drag coefficients.

The range was offered in four-door sedan, four-door hardtop and five-door station wagon forms. The coupé was deleted.

Australia made do with the 910 series, which was facelifted in 1985.

New Zealand marketing for the U11 proclaimed the vehicle as the 'Widetrack Bluebird', to differentiate it from its very similar-looking predecessor.

This model was offered in Europe for two years before Nissan began building the Auster as the Bluebird in England in 1986.

The U11 was sold as the Yue Loong Bluebird 931 in Taiwan.

Although the U11 sedans were replaced for the 1988 model year, the station wagon continued in to 1990.

The range was available with 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0L petrol engines. The VG20ET V6 was offered for the first time in 1984 in Japan, in a model with an extended front end, called the Bluebird Maxima.This V6 was intercooled 2.0L V6 turbo. There was no N/A V6 in any Bluebird.

In the United Kingdom, the following versions were offered:

  • 1.8 DX (1984-86)
  • 2.0 GL/GL estate/SGL (1984-86)
  • 1.8 Turbo ZX (1984-86)

T12/T72 series

Nissan Bluebird T12/T72
1990 Bluebird2.jpg

The T12 and the later T72 Nissan Bluebird, is in fact a third generation Auster, rebadged and sold in Europe. However, its well known build quality and reliability and the influential role it had in what is now Europe’s most efficient car factory merits the T12/72 its Bluebird badge.

The T12 was introduced in Europe in 1985 as a replacement for the U11 Bluebird. From July 1986, the T12 was assembled from parts shipped in from Japan, at Washington, England. The saloon versions (four door) were available first and the hatchback (five door) became available in January 1987. Using the U11 platform, Bluebird Estates were also built at Washington.

U12 series

Nissan Bluebird U12
Nissan Bluebird SSS-R
Also called Yue Loong Bluebird 941 (Yulon, TW)
Assembly Oppama, JPN

Nissan evolved the boxy shape of the U11 slightly, released in September 1987.

In Japan, a four-door sedan and four-door hardtop were offered, although Nissan of Australia did create a five-door Nissan Pintara 'Superhatch' model that was sold as the Bluebird in some export markets, including New Zealand.

Nissan made a turbocharged Bluebird from 1987 to 1990, codenamed the RNU12, using the 1809cc DOHC CA18DET that was sold in Japan and New Zealand. It also used ATTESA and HICAS on the SSS-R.

U13 series

Nissan Bluebird U13
1995–1997 Nissan Bluebird (U13 S2) SSS sedan (Australia)
Assembly Oppama, JPN

The U13 series was launched in Japan in September 1991 as a four-door sedan and four-door hardtop. The two models were visually distinct: the four-door sedan had curves where its U12 predecessor had edges, while the hardtop, called the Nissan Bluebird ARX, had more traditional styling.

Several Japanese models included an All Wheel Drive version (ATTESA).

U14 series

Nissan Bluebird U14
1998 Nissan Bluebird SSS

Nissan switched to boxy styling for the U14 Bluebird for January 1996. The American Altima had different front and rear ends, in keeping with its sports sedan positioning. But in its home market, the Bluebird was targeted more at buyers who favoured the formality of larger Japanese sedans. However, the SSS trim was retained, though it no longer referred to a truly sporting model in the range. To fit in with a lower bracket in Japanese taxation legislation, the U14 retained a 1,700 mm width.

Only a four-door sedan was offered. The hardtop, and the option of a 1.6 L engine, were removed. The Nissan Hyper CVT automatic transmission was available in this generation. Some models had a 1973cc diesel CD20E engine.

The Nissan Bluebird platform ended in 2001, and was replaced by a smaller platform using the Bluebird name, called the Bluebird Sylphy.

G10 series

Nissan Bluebird Sylphy G10
Nissan Bluebird Sylphy 1.8

The G10 Bluebird Sylphy is basically the N16 Pulsar with more luxury touch. The Bluebird Sylphy has vertical chrome grille. Engine choice are the 1.5 QG15DE, 1.6L QG16DE, 1.8 L QG18DE, and the 2.0 L QR20DE. A 5-speed manual transmission is only for the 1.5 L and 1.6 L cars, others have a 4-speed automatic transmission. 4WD is only offered for the 1.8 L model.

For export market, the similar car is sold as Pulsar in Australia, Sunny in Singapore, Thailand, and Middle East, Sentra in Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia and Almera in Brunei.

For 2004, the Bluebird Sylphy received minor change with revised grille, and all-new rear end with Teana-like tail lights.

G11 series

Nissan Bluebird Sylphy G11
A second generation Nissan Bluebird Sylphy at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show.
Also called Nissan Bluebird Sylphy (Japan)
Nissan Bluebird (Yulon, RC)
Nissan Sylphy (Malaysia)
Assembly Tochigi, Tochigi Prefecture, Kanto region, JPN
Miaoli City, Miaoli County, RC
Segambut, Kuala Lumpur, MAL

The G11 Bluebird Sylphy uses Nissan's FF-S platform. This car was launched at the Tokyo Motor Show 2005.

The Nissan Bluebird Sylphy uses the same engine as the Nissan Tiida/Versa/Latio, which is the HR15DE 1.5 L engine and a whole new MR20DE 2.0 L engine. The 2.0 L version of Nissan Bluebird Sylphy uses Nissan's X-Continuously Variable Transmission (X-CVT). This combination results in smooth and powerful acceleration combined with the fuel economy of a 1.8 L engine.

The Sylphy has the most spacious interior space and the biggest boot (504 L) in its class. The rear legroom is almost as big as the Nissan Teana and Toyota Camry.

Starting from 2008, the Bluebird Sylphy is also available for the export market, as the Nissan Sylphy. The Sylphy is sold in China, and some South East Asian countries.

External links

Notes

  1. ^ http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yulon_Motor_Company German Wikipedia article about the Yulon Motor Company
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "OHC is the fashion: Japan's Datsun Bluebird in latest form as 1300 and 1600". Autocar vol 127 (nbr 3747): Pages 25 - 26. date 7 December 1967. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Autotest Datsun 180B Bluebird: Completely new body, with larger windows and improved visibility for Datsun's mid-range car. Average performance cuped with excellent economy and cheapest petrol. Handling improved at expense of ride, now almost harsh. Brakes not up to current standards". Autocar vol 147 (nbr4217): Pages 36 - 40. date 3 September 1977. 

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