Nissan Be-1

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Nissan Be-1
Nissan Be-1.JPG
Nissan Be-1 finished in Pumpkin Yellow
ManufacturerNissan Motors
10,000 produced
AssemblyTotsuka, Kanagawa, Japan (Takada Kogyo)
Body and chassis
Body style2-door notchback
LayoutFF layout
PlatformNissan B platform
Engine1.0 L MA10S I4
Wheelbase2,300 mm (90.6 in)
Length3,635 mm (143.1 in)
Width1,580 mm (62.2 in)
Height1,420 mm (55.9 in)
Curb weight670 kg (1,477.1 lb)

The Nissan Be-1 is a retro-styled two-door notchback sedan manufactured by Nissan for model years 1987-1988, and originally marketed solely in Japan at their Nissan Cherry Stores.

Nissan Be-1 finished in Pumpkin Yellow (rear)

Designed to be a fashionable city car, the Be-1 was marketed without any Nissan branding, by reservation only, and solely in Japan.[1]

Because of its origins at the Pike Factory, Nissan's special project group, the Be-1 — along with the Nissan Figaro, Pao and S-Cargo — are known as Nissan's "Pike cars." It, the Pao, and the Figaro are built on the Nissan March's underpinnings.

In 2011, noted design critic Phil Patton, writing for the New York Times, called the Pike cars "the height of postmodernism"[2] and "unabashedly retro, promiscuously combining elements of the Citroën 2CV, Renault 4, Mini [and] Fiat 500."[2]


Like the later Pao and Figaro, the Be-1 is based on the first generation Nissan Micra chassis. As such, it is powered by the 1.0 L (987 cc) carbureted MA10S I4 engine coupled to a choice of a 3-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission.[3] This engine produces 52 PS (38 kW; 51 hp) at 6000 rpm and 75 N⋅m (55 lb⋅ft) of torque at 3600 rpm.

The chassis included rack and pinion steering, independent suspension with struts in front, as well as 4-links and coil springs in back. Disc brakes were used in the front and drum brakes were used in the rear.[citation needed] A large, electronically operated canvas roof was offered as an option starting in March, 1987.[citation needed] The interior is very basic and notably features a large, centrally mounted speedometer. Like the original Mini, the Be-1 has a small bootlid (although it opens upwards) and a fixed rear window and is thus a two-door sedan. Nissan themselves has sometimes classified the car as a "coupé".[4]


10,000 Be-1s were built in total from 1987-1988, but since demand was so high for the Be-1, buyers were decided through a lottery organized by Nissan. The cars were assembled, partially by hand, by contract manufacturers Takada Kogyo [ja]. Takada later also built the Pao and Figaro, as well as some small-series Isuzu and Subaru products.[5]

The Be-1 was available in 4 colors: Pumpkin Yellow, Tomato Red, Hydrangea Blue and Onion White.[6] The Be-1 only came with body-coloured steel wheels with black hubcaps.

Model codes
  • BK10RHF (5MT)
  • BK10RHFW (5MT w/canvas top)
  • BK10RHA (3AT)
  • BK10RHAW (3AT w/canvas top)
Dimensions and weight
  • Length: 3,635 mm (143.1 in)
  • Width: 1,580 mm (62.2 in)
  • Height: 1395 mm (w/canvas top 1420 mm)
  • Wheelbase: 2,300 mm (90.6 in)
  • Ground clearance: 165 mm (6.5 in)
  • Front tread: 1,365 mm (53.7 in)
  • Rear tread: 1,350 mm (53.1 in)
  • Weight: MT 670 kg, (w/canvas top 680 kg), AT 700 (w/canvas top 710 kg)
  • Gross weight: MT 945 kg (w/canvas top 955 kg), AT 975 kg (w/canvas top 985 kg)
  • Capacity: 5 people
  • Minimum turning radius: 4.4 m (14 ft)
  • Fuel consumption (according to Japanese rule 10.15): (5MT) 20.5 km/L (48.2 mpg); (3AT) 16.5 km/L (38.8 mpg); (3AT w/canvas top) 15.0 km/L (35.3 mpg)
  • Fuel consumption at a steady 60 km/h (37 mph): (5MT) 31.4 km/L (73.9 mpg); (3AT) 25.4 km/L (59.7 mpg)
  • Water-cooled OHC inline-4-cylinder
  • Bore x Stroke: 68.0 mm × 68.0 mm (2.68 in × 2.68 in)
  • Compression ratio: 9.5
  • Electronically controlled carburetor (ECC)
  • Fuel tank capacity: unleaded regular, 40 L (10.6 US gal)
  • Disc brakes front and rear[citation needed]
  • Tire size: 165/70R12 front and rear


  1. ^ "Lesser-Known Pike: 1987 Nissan Be-1 in Washington State". The best vintage and classic cars for sale online | Bring a Trailer. 2018-09-21. Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  2. ^ a b Patton, Phil (March 18, 2011). "Nissan's Cartoon Cars, Once So Hip". The New York Times.
  3. ^ McAleer, Brendan (2014-04-22). "The gloriously weird Nissans of the Pike Factory". Road & Track. Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  4. ^ Data File 1987, Tokyo, Japan: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., April 1987, p. 7
  5. ^ "会社紹介: 沿革" [Company Profile: History] (in Japanese). Takada Industry Co., Ltd. Archived from the original on 2019-07-25.
  6. ^ Orlove, Raphael. "Even The Color Names For The Nissan Be-1 Are Adorable". Jalopnik. Retrieved 2019-01-01.

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