The Nissan S12 Silvia / Gazelle which came into the Japanese market in 1983 had split personalities in the form of not only its exterior which came in both a coupe version and a ‘notchback’ version and was also badged as the Silvia and the Gazelle. The pinnacle of the s12’s saga happened in 1986 when it was subjected to trims and reintroduced and referred to as “Mark II” by most during a time when the aviation industry was notching up their ‘sound barrier’ speeds.
There were a few different engines that were attached to the S12 chassis which was dependant on the year of production and as well as the geographic market that the car was targeted for. Most of the mechanics behind these engines were copied from previously designed engines in in certain instances they were the inspirations for upcoming engine platforms apart from the FJ series, which was an engine designed for the Silvia specifically for Rally competitions. The zigzag genetic configurations for these engines included the CA series borrowing the designs of the NAPZ series and the CA18DET’s DOHC head was contrasted unto the later RB engine series that came later which went on to power the inline-6 engine for the Skylines.
Full information on the FJ20 Engine in the Nissan Silvia S12 / Gazelle can be found in the factory service manual.
In other instances the S12 was coupled with V6 engines. Abroad, the S12 was rebranded as the Nissan 180SX and 200SX that was largely regarded as the 300ZX’s ‘junior companion. Towards the production finale of the S12, the S12 “XE” was introduced in the form of a coupe and this particular version was attached to a 2.0 Litre SOHC engine (non-turbo) that had either a 5 speed manual gearbox or a 4 speed auto gearbox. The S12 discontinued production of the ‘turbo models’ in 1987 and in place introduced the “SE” model which came with a monstrous 3.0 Litre SOHC V6 engine that generated a staggering 160 HP – 120 kW of power, coupled with 174 LB of torque.
As if this was not enough the same engine was tweaked and offered in 300ZX (non-turbo) and in 1988 the ‘tweaks’ were extended to the “SE” model which bumped up the output by an additional 5 HP making the total output 165 HP while torque was maintained at 174LB per foot.