Folk retro. 1989 Nissan Laurel C33.
Laurel in the model range Nissan has always performed at the “dancers”. Despite the fact that for a long time it was offered both as a sedan and a coupe, it remained in the shadow of more specialized models. Skyline was sportier. Cedric / Gloria richer staffed and, in principle, belonged to a different class. Finally, it was present in the Silvia dvuhdverka lineup, which was also responsible for sport and drive. By the end of the 80s, the situation worsened – the Cefiro sedan appeared on the scene, then, as you know, the classic layout, built on a platform shared with Laurel C33. What should have been done with the latter so that it continues to interest the buyers?
Actually, everything was done on the third generation of the model, when in addition to the sedan and coupe presented a hardtop. And full-fledged – not with door glass without frames, but with a missing central roof. By the debut of the sixth generation, the representative of which will be discussed, the two-door version did not exist for almost a decade. But on the C33 and refused from the usual sedan (in this body was presented just Cefiro). The next four years, Laurel could only be a hardtop.
And how elegant! Low silhouette, flat surfaces – there is no longer the angularity that was inherent in cars of the early 80s. And still not in honor of design experiments with lighting, shapes, proportions. Of course, the Japanese can be blamed for the fact that in one size they produced similar models. But, first, as we know, this was a characteristic sign of that period in the history of the Japanese automobile industry. And secondly, tell me – can Laurel be confused with the platform-based Cefiro and even more so with Silvia?
Laurel, Cefiro and Silvia
In early 1991, saw the light of the updated “Lavrik.” True, in terms of styling changes needed to be studied under a microscope. Bottom left hardtop before restyling, right – after. The whole correction is in the lantern segments.
But Nissan did not stint on technical upgrades. A new decade has arrived with its fashion for three-dimensional inline “sixes”, and therefore a 180-strong RB25DE appeared under the hood. However, before the restyling Laurel offered a good selection of engines. The base was the “quartet” CA18 with a return to 91 strength. Then three variations on the theme of the RB20 were proposed: a single-shaft 125-strong version E, a two-shaft DE with a capacity of 155 hp. and a turbocharged 205 horsepower DET. There was another diesel engine – more known for different “buses” and RD28 jeeps, developing 94 forces.
In 1991, the first Laurel appeared on Nissan (as, it seems, all over the world) 5-speed automatic transmission. And before that, the company had already implemented two additional modes, Power and Hold, on its four-stage stage.
And in principle, the hardtop for that time generously “poured” various non-expensive business-class attributes. For example, the proposed system HICAS, providing steering the rear wheels. There was a cruise and climate control, control of “music” from the helm and its adjustment in two positions. The buyer could choose the interior in several colors, as well as upholstery – velor or leather.
Finally, the design of the dashboard for the late 80s was no less than a step into the future. Which still does not look like a dense past! As for the wooden Nardi and the casing, even these clearly not Japanese elements (the first sends us to Europe of the 70s; the famous Porsche collector Magnus Walker inspired the use of the second) do not look alien in the hardtop cabin.
Behind the wheel is comfortable, except that traditionally there is not enough longitudinal movement of the seat. As compensation for this driver’s orientation – adjustable seat height and lumbar cushion. And the front passenger seat rides on a sled not just horizontally – it moves in an arc like a child’s swing. Well, where, naturally, without the characteristic Nissan chips: elegant watch and “parking brake”, unlockable from the lever on the tide of the tunnel. Sorry, inspiration was not enough for the “climate” block, which is partially arranged on sliders.
Back you need to get into the clothes like two sizes smaller. The length of the wheelbase Laurel among classmates of the time was among the leaders. However, part of it along with the salon ate the engine compartment, designed for inline “six”. As a result, some “front wheel” class lower to the rear passengers turned out to be more loyal.
It is good that the trunk did not become hostage to the layout. The volume is quite sufficient and has an interesting “bonus” – “dokatku”, located on the side, at the left wing. Who picked out the “yolk” from under the floor of the trunk loaded with luggage, will appreciate this decision.
And how to evaluate the Laurel performance presented here? On the one hand, the non-poor Medalist equipment (full electric package, “music” control buttons on the amputated native steering wheel, climate control). On the other, technical – even if not the initial level with the Quartet, but only the second. With a 125-horsepower RB20E, another 4-step “automatic” and the absence of a 4WS system, offered only with the RB25DE and RB25DET.