The turbo supercharged engine is nothing new these days with most manufacturers, particularly VW, fitting them to their new cars to keep emissions down. Back in 1989 though when the turbo ruled at the top of the hot hatch performance tree, strapping on a supercharger was very different. So why was such a car built? Racing.
In 1988 Nissan decided to go rallying in the 1600cc class, however due to wanting to use a turbo and a supercharger the engine capacity was reduced to 930cc so as not to attract a penalty. In fact the standard 998cc engine was reworked to make it compliant and the use of the supercharger was to even out the turbo lag. The result 108bhp, and a record it apparently still holds, as the fastest Nissan March with a 0-60mph of 7.7s, a quarter mile in 15.5s and a top speed of 112mph.
A run of 10,000 were built for the road to allow it to be homologated. This though wasn’t some lightweight special as it came with electric mirrors and air-con, it even came with a choice of manual or automatic. A much underrated car, no doubt due to the image its standard variant had in the mind so the public.
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