A look back at the Nissan Figaro (1991) 0

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Today’s retrospective takes a look back at the Nissan Figaro. As classic cars go, the Figaro nailed ‘retro’ before the style was even in fashion. It was certainly unique, an eccentric labour of love that harked back to the classic sports convertibles that motored the roads of Europe in years gone by.

Built in 1991 and in production for one year only, the Figaro certainly caused a stir when it was released. Built using a steel monocoque design and based on the same platform used by the Nissan Micra, the Figaro was an attempt by the brand to change the way it was perceived by the car buying public. Designed by Naoki Sakai, the Figaro takes plenty of cues from Renaults, Fiats, Minis and Citroens of days gone by.

An initial production run saw 8,000 Figaros produced, the demand was such however that a further 12,000 were made. Even this second batch failed to satisfy the craving for the little Nissan and a lottery had to be used to allocate the cars to hopeful buyers.

The Figaro had a three-cylinder engine that turned out 76bhp and 78 lb-ft torque, averaging 32mpg paired to its three-speed transmission.

The interior saw plenty of nods to the past with old fashioned leather upholstery and chrome gauge displays, but also incorporated cutting edge features (for the time) such as a CD player and electric windows. The convertibles had a retractable fabric top.

The Figaro came in four colours: Emerald Green (spring), Pale Aqua (summer), Topaz Mist (autumn), and Lapis Grey (winter).

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