Rosslyn, Gauteng, South Africa
|Body and chassis|
|Successor||Nissan Altima (USA)
Nissan Primera (Europe)
The Nissan Violet appeared in Japan in 1973. It was then split into three separate lines in 1977, with the new Nissan Auster and Nissan Stanza added. All three bore the A10 series identifier, and were built in Japan at Hiratsuka and Oppama. The more luxurious Stanza was exclusive to Japanese Nissan dealerships called Nissan Saito Store as a larger companion to the smaller Nissan Sunny. When the Auster triplet was introduced, it was exclusive to Nissan Prince Store locations, and the Violet, later renamed Violet Liberta, was exclusive to Nissan Bluebird Store locations as a smaller companion to the larger Nissan Bluebird.
A new third generation front-wheel drive model was launched in 1981, changing the series name again to T11, and shared the platform with the Compact MPV Nissan Prairie/Multi/Stanza Wagon. Final versions were Nissan Bluebirds series U12 rebadged for some international markets. In most export markets the car was originally sold as the Datsun 140J or 160J depending on the engine; this name was then gradually changed to Nissan Stanza in most markets.
The Stanza/Auster/Violet were discontinued in 1992. The Stanza was replaced by the Nissan Altima in North America; the Stanza was replaced by the Nissan Bluebird in Japan, and by the Primera in Europe.
710 series (1973–1977)
|Nissan Violet 710 series|
|Also called||Datsun 140J/160J
Yue Loong Violet (Yulon, TW)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door hardtop coupé
2/4-door fastback sedan
4-door notchback sedan
|Engine||1.4 L L14 I4
1.6 L L16/L16E/L16P I4
1.8 L L18 I4
2.0 L L20B I4
|Wheelbase||2,450 mm (96 in)|
|Length||4,120 mm (162 in)|
|Width||1,580 mm (62 in)|
|Height||1,375 mm (54.1 in)|
|Curb weight||1,005 kg (2,216 lb)|
The Japanese: Nissan Violet, was a smaller companion to the Datsun Bluebird 610, which was sold outside Japan under Nissan's Datsun brand as the Datsun 140J/160J — except in the United States where it was marketed simply as the Datsun 710. This model was built as a two-door saloon, two-door coupé, four-door fastback, (and later as a regular four-door saloon), estate, and as a van. Introducing the Violet allowed Nissan to moderately increase the dimensions of the older Datsun Bluebird.
The sporty SSS model has rear independent suspension, others have a leaf sprung rear. Aside from the different name, the North American market 710 received large separate bumpers rather than the curved, fitted pieces used in other markets to comply with United States bumper legislation in 1973. Early export market cars were fitted with tiny chrome cover plates to hide the holes left on top of the front fenders by the Japanese market rear view mirrors.
This car shared a platform but remained a rear-wheel drive car with the new front wheel drive Nissan Cherry that was developed by Prince Motor Company before the Prince-Nissan merger in 1966. The most powerful version offered in Japan was the fuel injected 1600 SSS-E with 110 PS (81 kW) JIS at 6200 rpm.
This vehicle was available for sale around the same time as the first generation Toyota Carina. The original four-door bodywork was quite swoopy, with a fastback line. It was one of the first Nissan products to introduce "coke bottle styling", an appearance that debued internationally during the 1960s and 1970s. Its appearance was controversal, which led to a certain amount of customer complaints at the limited rear vision and dark rear cabin - especially for children. Taxi companies refused to purchase any more Violets, and in a rather drastic facelift for 1976 Nissan replaced the entire rear end (including the roof panel and the doors) with more traditional, notchback bodywork.
This version also received a new chassis code, 711. The two-door sedan did not undergo this modification. The two-door sedan was discontinued, while the coupé did receive the new chassis code and remained on sale alongside the four-door 711 and the 710 Van.
- Foreign assembly
In Taiwan the Violet was introduced in 1973 under the name Yue Loong Violet and replaced the successful Datsun Bluebird there for nine years. The Yue Loong Violet was usually offered with the OHV J16 engine. The VIP Brougham was a luxury version of the Violet with leather seats and wood interior. Official successor was the Yue Loong Elite 601 which was a sister model to the Nissan 200SX.
This car was assembled in Mexico from 1973 to 1978, and in the relevant markets was known as the Datsun Sedan and Datsun Guayin. It was offered with an optional three-speed automatic gearbox for the model year 1978, whereas in previous years it had only been available with a four-speed manual transmission. It is sometimes referred to as the "bolillo" (white bread) because of its rounded design.
New Zealand, as a result of the government's temporary lift of import licensing restrictions (the result of high consumer demand for cars, which local CKD assemblers and built-up importers could not meet with the usual licensing restrictions and high import duties of up to 55%, plus sales tax up to 60%) saw considerable CBU imports of the Datsun 140J four-door sedan and 160J two-door during 1973 and 1974.
Due to the short notice and short timeframe of the licence requirement relaxation, the cars imported differed slightly in specification from shipment to shipment - some had Japanese market amber front park lights, front guard-mounted exterior rear view mirrors and 'Violet' badges; later units had clear lenses and 140J/160J badging.
Several hundred 140J sedans entered New Zealand through the Port of Timaru for the South Island market and all were presold before they arrived. All were keenly sought-after and hard to secure as they were better specified as standard (tinted glass, AM pushbutton radio, etc.) than the NZ-assembled CKD kit imported models, which consisted of the Datsun 1200 sedan and wagon, and 180B (Bluebird) and 260C (Cedric) sedans.
Almost-new 140Js were often resold soon after first registration for hundreds of dollars more than their retail prices, such was the model line's initial popularity. The Japanese assembly quality of the 140J was better than the NZ-built Datsuns of the time which were assembled by outside assembly contractors - Nissan themselves did not open its own 'temporary' plant in Mt Roskill, Auckland, until the mid-1970s and a dedicated, purpose-built factory in Wiri in 1978.
A10 series (1977–1981)
|Nissan Violet A10 series|
|Also called||Datsun 510
Yue Loong 709/711/712
Rosslyn, Gauteng, South Africa
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2/4-door saloon
5-door station wagon
|Engine||1,397 cc A14 I4
1,595 cc Z16S/Z16E I4
1,595 cc L16/L16S/L16E I4
1,770 cc Z18/Z18E I4
1,952 cc L20B I4
1,952 cc Z20S I4
|Wheelbase||2,400 mm (94 in)|
|Length||4,080–4,310 mm (161–170 in)|
|Width||1,605–1,620 mm (63–64 in)|
|Height||1,320–1,410 mm (52–56 in)|
|Curb weight||870–1,040 kg (1,920–2,290 lb)|
|Successor||Japanese: Nissan AD all A10 series wagons|
The previous generation Violet was expanded and was joined by two badge engineered versions, called the Japanese: Nissan Auster, and the Stanza for the 1978 model year. The Nissan Auster was a smaller companion to the Nissan Skyline sedan at Nissan Prince Store, and the Stanza, which is Italian for "room" or "apartment", was introduced as an affordable family car one level above the Nissan Sunny, sold at Nissan Japan dealerships Nissan Saito Store. The third version Violet was sold at dealerships that sold the Bluebird called Nissan Bluebird Store locations, as the Bluebird had gradually increased in size and status.
Originally it was only sold with the 1.4 litre A-series engine and the 1.6 litre L, although North American market cars received a two-litre version. In October 1978 the car underwent a facelift, becoming the A11 in the process. At the same time, the L16 engines were replaced by the cross-flow Z16, to meet newer stricter emissions rules. Nissan introduced their emissions control technology with this generation, called NAPS, and the cars received a new chassis code of A11. The more luxurious Stanza was never available with the 1.4 litre engine in Japan, only with a 1.6 until larger engines joined the lineup.
In November 1978 a 1.8 litre engine was added at the top of the line-up, mainly for the domestic Japanese market. The 1800 "NAPS-Z" engine was initially only available in the more luxurious Stanza model. According to the companion article at Japanese Wikipedia, "Auster" is derived from "Worster" which means "south wind".
In Australia, it was called the Datsun Stanza, and in Canada and the United States as the Datsun 510, a name which recalled the successes of the previous Datsun 510. It was powered (in 1977-79 models) by the 2.0 L I4 L20B and in 1980-81 by the 2.0 L Z20 inline-four series of engines.
Five body styles were on offer: two- and four-door saloons, a three-door hatchback coupé ("Violet Openback" and "Auster Multi-Coupé"), a 5-door hatchback (only introduced in August 1979, quite late in the car's production run) and a five-door estate. The five-door liftback Stanza was marketed as the "Stanza Resort" in the Japanese domestic market. The five-door bodywork only became available in the Auster and Violet versions as of April 1980, meaning that they were only built for fourteen months as the car was replaced by the T11 generation in June 1981. The A10/A11 wagon was not replaced in 1981, with the somewhat smaller AD Wagon instead filling its place in the Japanese market.
Transmissions offered were a four-speed manual (in all except for the hatchback models), a five-speed manual (hatchback models only), and a three-speed automatic. This generation was available for sale around the same time as the first generation Toyota Celica Camry and the Honda Accord, which formed direct competitors in the domestic marketplace.
The Stanza was assembled in Australia from 1978 to 1982, in four-door 1.6 litre four-door saloon form, primarily to fill a gap between the Sunny and 200B. Trims available were "GL", "GX", and sporty "SSS".
While popular with buyers, the Australian Stanza was heavily criticized by the motoring journalists of the day (particularly Wheels Magazine), who regarded the car as being "unadventurous", particularly with regard to its styling and conventional drivetrain.
In 1979, 120 two-door coupé models were assembled in Australia, apparently due to a mix-up with Nissan Australia's kit ordering system. They were released into the market anyway with no promotion, and promptly sold out.
A batch of the A10-series 160J, in three-door hatchback form, were imported to New Zealand when local assemblers could not keep up with demand.
In the United Kingdom, this generation was marketed as the Datsun Violet, and was sold in 1.4 L "GL" and 1.6 L "GL" engine/trim combinations. No estate models were offered. In the rest of Europe it was usually sold as the 160J (or 140J), a variety of bodystyle and equipment combinations were offered, with a Coupé SSS with twin SU-carburetors available at the top of the lineup. Power outputs were 63 PS (46 kW) for the 140J, 81–83 PS (60–61 kW) for the 160J, and 87 PS (64 kW) for the 160J SSS. A fuel-injected version of the 160J was also available in some European markets, with 86 PS (63 kW).
The A10 Violet was locally assembled in Taiwan by Yue Loong until at least 1985. It was sold as the YLN 709, 711, and 712, depending on which facelift version. In later years (712) it was only available with hatchback bodywork and a 1.4 liter engine.
The Violet 160J was Nissan's most successful car in the World Rally Championship. It won the Safari Rally in Kenya from 1979 to 1982 consecutively, all with Shekhar Mehta behind the wheel. The 1979 and 1980 winners were powered by an SOHC engine; the 1981 and 1982 winners were Violet GT models with a DOHC engine. These Safari records are only matched by the Toyota Celica GT-Four which won the 1992–95 events. Driven by Timo Salonen, the Violet also won the 1980 Rally New Zealand and the 1981 Rallye Côte d'Ivoire.
No. Event Season Driver Co-driver Car 1 27th Safari Rally 1979 Shekhar Mehta Mike Doughty Datsun 160J 2 28th Safari Rally 1980 Shekhar Mehta Mike Doughty Datsun 160J 3 11th Motogard Rally of New Zealand 1980 Timo Salonen Seppo Harjanne Datsun 160J 4 29th Safari Rally 1981 Shekhar Mehta Mike Doughty Datsun Violet GT 5 13ème Rallye Côte d'Ivoire 1981 Timo Salonen Seppo Harjanne Datsun Violet GT 6 30th Marlboro Safari Rally 1982 Shekhar Mehta Mike Doughty Datsun Violet GT
T11 series (1981–1986)
|Third generation (T11)|
|Also called||Nissan Auster
Nissan Violet Liberta
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3-door hatchback (Auster)
|Related||Yue Loong Feeling 101/102, TW|
|Engine||1.6 L CA16S I4
1.8 L CA18DE I4
2.0 L Z20E I4
2.0 L CA20E I4
1,680 cc CD17T TD I4
|Wheelbase||2,550 mm (100 in)|
|Length||4,405 mm (173.4 in)|
|Width||1,665 mm (65.6 in)|
|Height||1,385 mm (54.5 in)|
|Curb weight||970 kg (2,140 lb)|
A front-wheel drive Stanza was introduced in 1981 — the first compact-class Datsun to be of that configuration. After 1982, Nissan tried to standardize the Stanza name in its export markets — in addition to phasing out the Datsun marque in favour of Nissan. In the United States, the T11 Stanza with CA20S engine, replaced the 510 for the 1982 model year. The Nissan Prairie was also sold as part of the range, renamed the Stanza Wagon. In 1984, Nissan changed the engine in the Stanza from the carbureted CA20S to the fuel-injected 2.0 L, straight-four CA20E. This car was 1981 Semperit Irish Car of the Year in Ireland.
3-door hatchback, 4-door saloon, and 5-door liftback models were produced. Japanese and some other export models were called "Stanza FX", and were offered with 1.6 and 1.8 L engines. The station wagon/delivery van was replaced by the Nissan AD van.
This version was sold in the United Kingdom and Europe as the Nissan Stanza; the range was "L" 1.6 L, "GL" 1.6 L, "SGL" 1.6 L and "SGL" 1.8 L. Some markets (such as Belgium, where it had SGL equipment) also received a 1.7 litre turbodiesel engine with 73 PS (54 kW), beginning with the 1984 model year.
Nissan-Datsun New Zealand occasionally imported later generation Violets and other models for evaluation, or imported a small production run if additional import licences became available (there was a trading scheme enabling importers to trade unused annual license allocations with each other). One highly specified, five-door, third generation, front-drive model with automatic transmission - and then-rare air conditioning - was imported for an international distributors' conference held in NZ in 1981 and was later used by a company executive's wife before being resold through the company's own dealer network. There was also a small later shipment of cars for public sale (this time without a/c) but, as usual with low-volume imports of this type by Nissan and rivals, most were presold before the ship docked.
The facelifted Japanese models have an upright nose, similar to that of the Bluebird U11 series. The Stanza was available in Japan at Nissan Satio Store locations, while its badge engineered companion was sold as the Japanese: Violet Liberta five-door hatchback from 1981-1982, then replaced by the smaller Pulsar based Japanese: Liberta Villa three-door hatchback. The Violet Liberta was sold at Nissan Bluebird Store locations but only as a five door hatchback, while the Bluebird remained a sedan, and station wagon.
The Auster was a higher specification and sportier version of the Stanza, with the emphasis towards a younger demographic. The three-door hatchback Auster GT-ES was equipped with a five-speed manual transmission. Various trim packages were labeled, 1600 CS-X, Auster JX, GS-X Extra, and the 1800 GS-L Super Saloon. The Auster was exclusive to Nissan Prince Store locations, as a lower cost alternative to the Skyline
In Taiwan a car closely based on the T11 Nissan Stanza got the name Yue Loong Feeling 101 and in a facelifted version Yue Loong Feeling 102. Both were available as a sedan and in a hatchback variant. The vehicles later got an aggressive redesign with angled headlights and more sporty rearlamps. These versions were the first indigenously developed Taiwanese cars and were even exported in small numbers.
The Stanza T11 series was the only time in the US market that a Nissan was rated as more reliable than the Toyota Camry, from 1983 to 1986, according to 1983-1986 Consumer Reports magazine. Since 1987, Nissan has lost its ranking to Toyota and Honda.
T12 series (1986–1990)
|Also called||Nissan Auster
Nissan Liberta (Middle East)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door saloon
Nissan Bluebird U11
|Engine||1.6 L CA16S I4
1.8 L CA18i/CA18DE I4
1.8 L CA18ET turbo I4
1.8 L CA18DET turbo I4
2.0 L CA20S/CA20E I4
2.0 L LD20 diesel I4
|Wheelbase||2,550 mm (100.4 in)|
|Length||4,516 mm (177.8 in)|
|Width||1,689 mm (66.5 in)|
|Height||1,389 mm (54.7 in)|
|Curb weight||1,220 kg (2,690 lb)|
Nissan renewed the Auster and Stanza lines in 1986 (T12 series), introducing squared-off styling. Japan and the US received this model. The US Stanza used the same CA20E engine found in the previous generation. The car was unusually heavy for its class, due to sharing a platform with the contemporary Maxima and as a result of its small engine, underpowered. In part to offset this, some export markets offered turbocharged models, badged "Supremo"; and a cousin, the "Auster XTT".
Europe received a version of the Nissan Auster as a Datsun/Nissan Bluebird replacement. These were built in Sunderland, in the United Kingdom, and badged as the Nissan Bluebird. The estate was the only "real" Bluebird in this range, imported from Japan.
In Middle East, Nissan Stanza T12 was called as Nissan Liberta (not Liberta Villa), an alternative replacement of Nissan Liberta Violet T11.
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.
The later T72 models replaced the T12 during 1987, followed by a face lift around a year later. This is a point to note, as it is a common mistake to class all pre face lift models as T12s. The face lift models had a more modern and European look, with round front and rear bumpers and the corporate slatted grill. These were eventually built entirely in England. In 1990, Nissan replaced the Bluebird with the Primera series. In the late 1980s and early 90s, Nissan Bluebirds were very commonly seen as taxis, their drivers racking up phenomenal mileage on just routine servicing. The bodyshell's resistance to corrosion has become legendary - it is not uncommon to see Bluebirds as old as 1987 or 1988 vintage still on British roads with virtually no trace of rust at all. However, the Bluebirds' reliability and all-around robustness has ultimately led to its demise – as a banger racers' car of choice.
Almost all petrol T12/T72 Bluebirds came with 8 valve versions of Nissan's CA Engine and either a 5 speed manual or a 4 speed automatic transmission. The diesel models used the normally aspirated LD20 engine. Performance was average for its class, the 1.6 struggling more with its lower torque characteristics that didn't seem suited to the weight of the car.
Although all but the most basic models were already well kitted out, the real pick of the crop from the Bluebird range were the Executive models. These had their own range of colours, Connolly Hide interior, body kit, lattice alloy wheels, air-conditioning and a vast array of standard equipment, even with electrically adjustable suspension (Executive Turbo, and T12 / pre-facelift Turbo models).
Please note, some of the early T12s shipped from Japan were available as a three door hatchback; these are now very rare. Also, some later European models were known to use 16 valve versions of the CA Engine.
U12 series (1990–1992)
|Also called||Nissan Bluebird
Nissan Pintara (AUS)
Yue Loong Bluebird 941 (Yulon, TW)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door saloon|
|Engine||2.4L KA24E I4|
|Wheelbase||100.4 in (2,550 mm)|
|Length||1990-91: 4.57 m (179.9 in)
1992: 4.59 m (180.7 in)
|Width||1.70 m (66.9 in)|
|Height||1.37 m (54.1 in)|
|Successor||Nissan Altima (North America)
In the 1990 model year the American version of the Stanza was replaced by a basic version of the Nissan Bluebird (U12 series), wearing Stanza badges. In Japan, the Stanza and Auster ranges were effectively replaced by the Nissan Primera for the 1990 model year.
The JDM Bluebird has the rear license plate higher between the tail lights, whereas the Stanza's is mounted on the bumper.
The fourth generation Stanza was offered in two trim levels: "XE" and "GXE". The sporty SE model was added for 1992.
The 4th Gen Stanza used the 2.4 L inline-4 Nissan KA24E engine, an upgrade from previous generations in displacement (from 1974 cc to 2398 cc), power (from 94 hp (70 kW) to 138 hp (103 kW)), and torque (from 114 lb·ft (155 N·m) to 148 lb·ft (201 N·m)). The KA engine was not used on Japanese-spec Bluebirds.
The fourth generation Stanza has EPA estimated fuel economy of 18 mpg-US (13 L/100 km; 22 mpg-imp) city and 25 mpg-US (9.4 L/100 km; 30 mpg-imp) highway for the 4-speed automatic transmission. For the 5-speed manual transmission the Stanza has EPA estimated fuel economy of 18 mpg-US (13 L/100 km; 22 mpg-imp) city and 26 mpg-US (9.0 L/100 km; 31 mpg-imp) highway.
The Stanza was discontinued after the 1992 model year and replaced by the American-built Altima, also Bluebird-based. The last American Stanza rolled off the assembly line on 27 March 1992, though its name would live on in the first generation Altima, technically known as the "Nissan Stanza Altima".
- 自動車ガイドブック [Automobile Guide Book] (in Japanese) (Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association) 23: 120–121. 1976-10-20. 0053-760023-3400.
- "Violet = 710 Series". Bryan's Missin' Nissan Genealogy Page. Archived from the original on 2010-09-26.
- "Timaru's Artificial Harbour". Rootsweb. 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- Braunschweig, Robert; Büschi, Hans-Ulrich, eds. (March 6, 1980). Automobil Revue '80 75. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag, AG. pp. 534–535.
- David Boyce, What car is that?: in Australia & New Zealand, Rigby, 1981, page 46
- Lösch, Annamaria, ed. (1980). World Cars 1980. Pelham, NY: The Automobile Club of Italy/Herald Books. p. 368. ISBN 0-910714-12-6.
- 別冊CG: 自動車アーカイヴ 80年代の日本 [Car Graphic: Car Archives Vol. 11, '80s Japanese Cars] (in Japanese). Tokyo: Nigensha. 2007. p. 98. ISBN 978-4-544-91018-6.
- 自動車ガイドブック [Japanese Motor Vehicles Guide Book] (in Japanese) (Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association) 26: 113. 1979-11-01. 053-790026-3400.
- 別冊CG: 自動車アーカイヴ 70年代の日本 [Car Graphic: Car Archives Vol. 5, '70s Japanese Cars] (in Japanese). Tokyo: Nigensha. 2007. p. 46. ISBN 978-4-544-09175-5.
- Car Archives Vol. 11, '80s Japanese Cars, p. 96
- Automobil Revue '80, p. 257
- Mastrostefano, Raffaele, ed. (1985). Quattroruote: Tutte le Auto del Mondo 1985 (in Italian). Milano: Editoriale Domus S.p.A. p. 1172. ISBN 88-7212-012-8.
- Nissan Gamma [Nissan range] (brochure) (in Flemish), Aartselaar, Belgium: N.V. Nissan Belgium S.A., 1984, p. 1
- "Maxima History". Retrieved 2006-06-07.
- "EPA Fuel Economy Site". Retrieved 2008-11-17.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nissan Violet.|
|Nissan road car timeline, United States and Canadian markets, 1980s–present|
|Subcompact||Micra||Versa (hatchback)||Versa Note|
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|Sport compact||Pulsar NX||Pulsar NX||NX||200SX||Altima Coupe|