Nissan Figaro

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Nissan Figaro (E-FK10)
1991 Nissan Figaro (E-FK10) convertible (26452674766).jpg
Nissan Figaro finished in Lapis Grey (winter)
20,073 produced
AssemblyOppama Plant, Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan
DesignerNaoki Sakai and Shoji Takahashi
Body and chassis
ClassCity car
Body style2-door Fixed Profile Convertible
LayoutFF layout
Engine1.0 L (987 cc) MA10ET turbo I4
Transmission3-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,300 mm (90.6 in)
Length3,740 mm (147.2 in)
Width1,630 mm (64.2 in)
Height1,365 mm (53.7 in)
Curb weight810 kg (1,790 lb)
Nissan Figaro finished in Pale Aqua (Japan)
Nissan Figaro interior

The Nissan Figaro is a front-engine, front-wheel drive, two-door, 2+2, fixed-profile convertible manufactured by Nissan for model year 1991, and marketed in Japan at Nissan Cherry Stores.

A total of 20,073 Figaros were produced by Nissan in the convertible's single year of series production[1] — all with right hand drive.[2]

As a fixed-profile convertible, the upper side elements of the Figaro's bodywork remain fixed, while its fabric soft top retracts in conjunction with a solid panel with a defroster-equipped glass rear window — as seen in other notable fixed-profile convertibles, including the Vespa 400 (1957), Citroën 2CV (1948–1990), the Nash Rambler Convertible "Landau" Coupe (1950), and the 1957 Fiat 500 — as well its 2007 Fiat 500 successor.

With its design variously attributed to Naoki Sakai[3] and/or Shoji Takahashi,[4] the design vaguely recalls the Gutbrod Superior, a mediocre German fixed-profile convertible marketed from 1950-1954.[5][6]

Because of its origins at Pike Factory, Nissan's special project group, the Figaro (along with the Nissan Pao, Be-1 and S-Cargo) are known as Nissan's "Pike cars," and represented a design strategy that adapted "design and marketing strategies from other industries like personal electronics."[4]

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


Nissan introduced the Figaro at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show, using "Back to the Future" as its marketing tagline. Based on the first-generation Nissan Micra, the Figaro was manufactured at Aichi Machine Industry,[3] a special projects group which Nissan would later call "Pike Factory", which also produced three other niche vehicles: the Be-1, Pao, and S-Cargo.

Based on the Nissan March platform, the Figaro uses a 1.0-liter (987 cc) turbocharged engine generating 76 PS (56 kW; 75 hp) and 78 lb⋅ft (106 N⋅m) of torque through a three-speed automatic transmission, front MacPherson struts, rear four-link coil spring suspension; rack and pinion steering, front ventilated disc and rear drum brakes.[7] The Figaro can reach a top speed of 106 mph (170.59 km/h). Weight saving front fenders are thermoplastic resin.[7]

Standard equipment included ivory leather seats with contrasting piping, air conditioning, CD player, chrome and Bakelite-style knobs, soft-feel paint on the dashboard top, chrome-trimmed speedometer with smaller inset gauges for fuel and engine temperature; and chrome-trimmed tachometer with inset clock.[7]

Exterior paint color represented the four seasons: Topaz Mist (autumn), Emerald Green (spring), Pale Aqua (summer) and Lapis Grey (winter).[7][8]

At first, 8,000 Figaros were manufactured and then an additional 12,000 to meet demand. Prospective purchasers entered a lottery to acquire a Figaro.[9] Limited edition cars came with passenger side baskets and cup holders.


  1. ^ Dodd, Mark (April 15, 2017). "Nissan Figaro FK10 VIN Table". Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  2. ^ Baime, A.J. (April 19, 2016). "How a Nissan Figaro Became an Instant Classic in the U.S." The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  3. ^ a b McAleer, Brendan (July 28, 2015). "No matter how you slice it, the pint-sized Nissan Figaro is just plain fun". Driving.CA. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Patton, Phil (March 18, 2011). "Nissan's Cartoon Cars, Once So Hip". The New York Times. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  5. ^ Zitka, Hans-Roland (March 9, 2014). "Nissan Figaro war ein Plagiat der ersten Stunde (Nissan Figaro was a plagiarism of the first order)" (in German). Welt. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  6. ^ "Blick zurück nach vorn (Look back to the front)" (in German). Oldtimer Markt. March 1, 2019. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d Printz, Larry (June 21, 2018). "Why you should want the adorable Nissan Figaro". Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  8. ^ "Nissan Figaro for Sale 1991". Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  9. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard (January 11, 2019). "This Quirky Car Is Japanese. But There's 'Something Very British' About It". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 12, 2019.

External links[edit]