Nissan Figaro

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Nissan Figaro (E-FK10)
1991 Nissan Figaro (E-FK10) convertible (26452674766).jpg
Nissan Figaro finished in Lapis Grey (Winter)
AssemblyOppama Plant, Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan
DesignerNaoki Sakai and Shoji Takahashi
Body and chassis
ClassCity car
Body style2-door Fixed Profile Convertible
LayoutFF layout
PlatformNissan B platform
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)

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

With its design variously attributed to Naoki Sakai[1] and/or Shoji Takahashi,[2] 20,000 examples were marketed by Nissan in the convertible's single year of production[3] — all with right hand drive.[4]

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."[2]

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]

It was also shown in CBBC The Sarah Jane Adventures (A spinoff of Doctor Who) with Elisabeth Sladen reprising her role as the titular character. She had for all 5 seasons of the show a mint green Figaro, which also made a appearance on parent show Doctor Who episodes ("The Stolen Earth," "Journey's End," and "The End of Time Part 2").


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,[1] 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.

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. The fixed-profile concept is seen on other 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.

Based on the Nissan March platform, the Figaro uses a 1.0-liter (987 cc) turbocharged engine generating 76 hp (57 kW; 77 PS) and 78 lb⋅ft (106 N⋅m) of torque through a 3-speed automatic transmission, front MacPherson struts, rear four-link coil spring suspension; rack and pinion steering, front ventilated disc and rear drum brakes.[5] The Figaro can reach a top speed of 106 mph (170.59 km/h). Weight saving front fenders are thermoplastic resin.[5]

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.[5] The four available exterior paint colors represent the four seasons: Topaz Mist (Autumn), Emerald Green (Spring), Pale Aqua (Summer) and Lapis Grey (Winter).[5][6]

8,000 Figaros were originally manufactured, with an additional 12,000 subsequently manufactured to meet demand. Prospective purchasers entered a lottery to purchase a Figaro.[7] Limited edition cars came with passenger side baskets and cup holders.

As of 2018, more than 3,000 of the cars were registered as being in active use in the United Kingdom.[7]


Nissan Figaro finished in Pale Aqua (Japan)
Nissan Figaro interior
1991 Nissan Figaro, Dutch licence registration 03-NBL-3 p2.JPG
  • Suspension: Four-wheel independent
    • Front: Strut-type
    • Rear: 4-link, solid axle, with stabilizer bar (anti-roll bar)
    • Front wheel drive
  • Brakes: Power-assisted ventilated front discs, rear drums
  • Tire size: 165/70R12 77H Cold climate spec: 155SR12 (155/80R12)
  • Kerb weight: 810 kg (1786 lb)
  • 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 (kerb to kerb): 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)
  • Bore and stroke: 68.0 mm × 68.0 mm (2.68 in × 2.68 in)
  • Compression ratio: 8.0:1
  • Fuel delivery: ECCS (ECU-controlled multi-point injection)
  • Fuel type/capacity: Super unleaded/40L (8.8 imp gal or 10.6 US gal)
  • Three-point seat belts (no airbags)
  • 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 headrest
  • Synthetic leather piping
  • Retractable fabric top with fixed-profile two-tone bodywork
  • Top fully retracts into concealed nacelle.
  • Top equipped with a double lock and warning buzzer as a safety feature
  • Secondary hood latch
  • Glass rear window with defrosters
  • Flush mount apron and flush mount fender
  • Glassfibre resin material with an outer gel coat atr front fenders and front grill surround
  • Fluoroplastic paint


  1. ^ a b Brendan McAleer (July 28, 2015). "No matter how you slice it, the pint-sized Nissan Figaro is just plain fun". Driving.CA.
  2. ^ a b c d Phil Patton (March 18, 2011). "Nissan's Cartoon Cars, Once So Hip". The New York Times.
  3. ^ A.J. Baime (April 19, 2016). "How a Nissan Figaro Became an Instant Classic in the U.S." The Wall Street Journal.
  4. ^ Jim Cherry (May 7, 2010). "1991 Nissan Figaro: Back to the future in Pee Wee Herman's dream car". The
  5. ^ a b c d Larry Printz (June 21, 2018). "Why you should want the adorable Nissan Figaro".
  6. ^ Cars, Duncan Imports and Classic. "Nissan Figaro for Sale | Nissan Figaro 1991 | Nissan Figaro USA". Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  7. ^ a b 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.

Media related to Nissan Figaro at Wikimedia Commons