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The Nissan Figaro is a small retro car manufactured by Nissan. The car was originally sold only in Japan. Despite this, the Nissan Figaro has become popular with owners in the UK and Ireland, given the popularity of second-hand Japanese import cars. Its appearance has a resemblance to the 1960s Datsun Fairlady models.
The Figaro was introduced at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show under the slogan "Back to the Future". It was built by a Nissan special projects group called Pike Factory, which also produced other niche automobiles such as the Be-1, Pao and S-Cargo. It was based on the K10 Nissan Micra aka March. Only four colours were available: Topaz Mist, Emerald Green, Pale Aqua and Lapis Grey. Each colour symbolised a season of the year. When the car was launched, Topaz Mist was the least popular colour. There were only 2,000 produced in Topaz Mist hence they have become increasingly rare. The Figaro was sold without the Nissan name.
The Figaro was equipped with leather seats, air conditioning, CD player and an open roof. It was designed by Shoji Takahashi, who won a design competition with the car.
Only 8000 were originally available with an additional 12,000 added to production numbers to meet demand. Prospective purchasers had to enter a lottery to be able to buy one of these cars. Limited edition cars came with passenger side baskets and cup holders. These now fetch hundreds on internet auction sites.
There are specialist dealers in the UK who supply parts and servicing for this car.
- Interior Width: 1310 mm (51.57 in)
- Interior Height: 1130 mm (44.49 in)
- Treadwidth: Front: 1335 mm (52.56 in), Rear: 1350 mm (53.15 in)
- Riding Capacity: 4 seat belts, 4 people
- Max laden weight: 1235 kg (2723 lb)
- Max rolling weight: 1835 kg (4045 lb)
- Max load (front axle): 620 kg (1367 lb)
- Max load (rear axle): 625 kg (1378 lb)
- Max trailer weight (without brakes): 310 kg (683 lb)
- Max trailer weight (with brakes): 600 kg (1323 lb)
- Turning Circle (pavement to pavement): 4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)
- Fuel Economy: 7.3 L/100 km (39 mpg-imp; 32 mpg-US)
- Fuel consumption rate: 60 km/h (37 mph) running, on level ground: 4.1 L/100 km (69 mpg-imp; 57 mpg-US)
- Top Speed: 106 mph (170.59 km/h)
- Bore and Stroke: 68.0 mm × 68.0 mm (2.68 in × 2.68 in)
- Compression Ratio: 8.0:1
- Max Power: 76 PS (56 kW; 75 hp) at 6000 rpm
- Max Torque: 10.8 kg·m (106 N·m; 78 lb·ft) at 4400 rpm
- Fuel Delivery: ECCS
- Fuel Type/Capacity: Regular Unleaded/40L (8.8 imp gal or 10.6 US gal)
- Steering: Rack and pinion
- Suspension: Four-wheel independent
- Front: Strut-type
- Rear: 4-link,solid axle, with stabilizer bar (anti-sway bar)
- Front Wheel Drive
- Brakes: Power-assisted Ventilated front discs, rear drums
- Tire size: 165/70R12 77H
- Cold climate spec: 155SR12 (155/80R12)
- Safety equipment and front seat restraints
- No Airbags
- Three-point seat belts
- Rear seat: Three-point seat belts
- Driver's seat belt not fastened warning (buzzer)
- High-mount stop lamp
- Genuine leather seats standard equipment
- Low-mount head rest for classic appearance
- Synthetic leather piping is used for the prevention of leather fatigue
- High quality paint on interior and exterior
- Retractable top which became one of Figaro's unique trademarks
- External design completely hidden in trunk
- Equipped with a double lock and warning buzzer as a safety feature
- Secondary hood latch designed so the hood should not open while driving or by accidental activation
- Rear window defroster on glass
- Flush mount apron and flush mount fender
- Glassfibre resin material is used with an outer gel coat for front fenders and front grill surround
- Resulting in durable, low-maintenance body components
- Fluoroplastic paint is used
In popular culture
Sarah Jane Smith drove an Emerald Green Nissan Figaro in the BBC spin-off television series of Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Andrew Marr is seen driving a Figaro in the opening credits of the Sunday morning BBC One programme The Andrew Marr Show.
The Nissan Figaro has a number of high profile owners, including Arsenal and Belgian footballer Thomas Vermaelen, guitarist Eric Clapton, Canadian Tabla/Ghazal Wizard Cassius Khan, TV presenter Vanessa Feltz, and Princess Eugenie. Mollie King, from British girl group The Saturdays is another proud owner. Mami Ayukawa purchased a Figaro new in 1991 and was still driving it as of 2013.