|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door hardtop|
|Engine||1.5 L I4, GA15DE
1.6 L I4, GA16DE
1.8 L I4, SR18DE
2.0 L I4, SR20DE
|Wheelbase||2,500 mm (98.4 in) (R10)|
|Length||4,420 mm (174.0 in) (R10)|
|Width||1,690 mm (66.5 in) (R10)|
|Height||1,320 mm (52.0 in) (R10)|
|Predecessor||Nissan Laurel Spirit|
The Nissan Presea was a compact car, produced for the Asian market from 1990 to 2000. It competed with entry level luxury 4-door hardtop sedans that were popular in Japan during the '90s, notably the Toyota Corolla Ceres, the Toyota Sprinter Marino, the Honda Integra, and the Mazda Lantis.
"Presea" is Spanish for "jewel" or "important".
The original R10 Presea was based on the B13 series Nissan Sunny platform, and replaced the Nissan Laurel Spirit. It continued to be a smaller companion to the Nissan Laurel of this time period, sharing much of the styling influences and attention to luxury in a smaller package. Its appearance was also very similar to the much larger Nissan President. Like the Laurel, it was exclusive to Nissan Japanese dealerships called Nissan Motor Store.
It shared many attributes with its sibling model, however, body panels and interior were done to a much higher specification. Interior fabrics matched those on the Laurel, with standard features including automatic headlights, lighted keyslot, rear-illuminated instrument cluster, integrated sound-system, automatic climate control, digital temperature control, adjustable shoulder height seat-belts, 4-way adjustments, lumbar support for the driver's seat, windscreen wipers with adjustable intermittent timings, remotely controlled wing mirrors that folded close and most importantly, frameless windows that mimicked the NX Coupe and Silvia. In fact, so feature-full and advanced was the car that many units had 4-disc brakes with ABS and a rear windscreen wiper.
The A-pillar was slightly thinner than most compact cars, and the B-Pillar was practically non-existent from the outside, and on the inside, it was just wide enough to accommodate the seat-belt assembly. The C-pillar created a wrap-around rear windscreen. All these design features allowed for a more than 300-degree of vision for the driver, much like that of a fighter pilot. The rounded exterior left no visible straight edge on the car, and the grill-less front end gave the car a very sleek and futuristic look, with some visual similarities to the Infiniti Q45.
The R11 Presea launched in 1995 was slightly lengthened. In some countries including Japan, the venerable SR18DE with 125 hp replaced the 110 hp SR18D(i) engine, alongside with GA15DE and SR20DE engines. It still had the same drive-train as Nissan Sunny B14 (1994–1998) and the same frame-less door windows as the R10 Nissan Presea, although it was a little longer (4425 mm + 2525 mm wheelbase) wider (1695 mm) and taller (1325 mm).
In Singapore, Thailand and New Zealand, the R11 Presea came predominantly with the ancient 1.6L GA16DE. With essentially every curve and panel being unchanged, and only a fresher looking headlights and rear lamp cluster the car still had the same old Macpherson struts suspension up front and rear multi link geometry. Market demand for such a car fell rapidly, as the economic recession in Japan began to take full effect, known in Japan as the Lost Decade and the Presea was also cancelled after review under Nissan Revival Plan.
The Presea was another clone of the Sunny/Pulsar, part of Nissan stragety of selling the Sunny at one of five Nissan Japanese dealerships. The car was in compliance with Japanese government regulations concerning exterior dimensions and engine displacement size, offering buyers higher luxury content of the larger Bluebird/Stanza/Auster/Liberta, while still offering the economy and tax savings of the smaller Sunny/Pulsar.
Compared to most compact cars of that time, the Nissan Presea was quite long. The R10 stood at 4420 mm, 15 centimetres longer than the Sentra. It was also pretty low for a sedan at 1320 mm; with passengers often feeling the need to stoop to get into the car. At 1690 mm wide, it was as wide as it needed to be for two adults (and possibly a child) in the rear seats. The slightly longer wheelbase (compared to the Sunny) at 2500 mm was class leading for that era of compact cars. All these dimensions added up to a comfortable (albeit low) car with decent comfort and presence. The boot space was more than adequate, at over 300 L in capacity. Due to the way the backseats lean back (which in turn gave the rear passengers a lot more comfort), objects over 1000 mm in length and 1200 mm in width could fit. The boot height of over 400 mm also allowed for a competent handling of most purchases during shopping sprees. However the narrow aperture height limited its usability.
For more decent handling, it had Macpherson struts up front with multi-link rear suspension (with parallel arms). This independent setup combined with the longer wheelbase gave good comfort on the highway, and a pretty good grip for aggressive cornering. For many Preseas, the car was endowed with a ventilated front disc brakes with a single large piston. The rear brakes were either a solid disc brake or a semi-trailing drum brakes with self-adjusting shoes.
In Japan, most Preseas came with either a 1498 cc GA15DS, 1798cc SR18Di engine and the 1998 cc SR20DE. For the rest of the world, a more common 1598 cc GA16DE engine was available, providing sufficient grunt and fuel economy with its VTC (Variable Valve Timing) and DOHC design. As its engine bay was slightly longer than a B13 Sentra, an SR20DET engine could be shoehorned into it without much trouble. Standard Nissan mounting points allowed for the easy swapping of clutches and gearboxes between models in this range of cars. With the ample under-bonnet capacity, larger turbos and intercoolers could be fitted provided the owner did not mind slight modifications to the engine bay.
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