It’s been more than 20 years since the Japanese automaker discontinued the Nissan Silvia nameplate, but the sports car could make a comeback — this time as an electric coupe, as per a report from Japanese magazine Best Car.
The publication states that it has learned from its sources that Nissan has a project called “Pure EV Silvia revival,” which seems to have gathered momentum after Nissan’s vice president for design, Matthew Weaver, was asked to reimagine an iconic Nissan for an electric future. In September 2021, Nissan showed us Weaver’s renderings of a modern-day Nissan Silvia, inspired by the first generation Silvia CSP311 which made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1964.
Will we see a Nissan Silvia EV?
Nissan is ambitious for its electric future, with COO Ashwani Gupta reiterating that the brand is creating technologies (new EV platforms and future solid-state battery technology) such that it can electrify all bodystyles from hatchbacks and sedans to SUVs and pickups. At the time of showing Weaver’s Silvia EV sketches, Nissan stated that “reinventing classic cars for the modern, electrified world, even if they only start out as sketches, proves that future possibilities are endless.”
Nissan’s business plan also intends to aggressively launch 20 new EV and e-Power vehicles in the next five years. By 2030, Nissan targets 40% of U.S. vehicle sales to be fully electric, with more to be electrified.
Everything old is again new!
Automakers are using the EV transition to bring back nostalgic nameplates, which otherwise would not have made commercial sense to develop and launch. The Hyundai Grandeur EV with retro styling was presented as a concept last year; Opel showed a one-off concept Manta EV bringing back the name it launched in 1970 and the VW ID. Buzz resurrects the iconic bus year. Engineers from Mini’s Oxford plant came up with the Mini Recharge package in early 2022, where owners of old Minis can convert to electric propulsion while retaining the characteristic look of their cars, so clearly, brands are not shying from brands embracing the past.
What would a Nissan Silvia EV ride on?
Nissan can use its CMF-EV platform to build almost any shape of car, including a two-door sportscar. Earlier this year, during a presentation, to highlight the alliance’s EV future (Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi), Nissan showed a slide that said over 35 EV models would be seen from the alliance in all shapes and sizes caricatures of various bodystyles were seen in the background.
The first-generation Nissan Silvia from 1965 is so rare that even some of Nissan’s most seasoned employees haven’t seen one, says the company. Only 554 units were made. A Silvia EV based on the CMF-EV platform and retro-styling would certainly be sought after even if produced in limited units.
In related news, Nissan has confirmed that it will manufacture an all-new, all-electric sedan at the Canton plant in the U.S. from 2025. Featuring four doors, it is expected to take the place of the Maxima or the Altima in the American portfolio.
Featured Image – Nissan