The name 180SX was originally in reference to the 1.8 liter displacement CA18DET engine used in the chassis. In 1991, however, the engine was upgraded to a 2.0 liter model, offered in two forms: the naturally-aspirated SR20DE engine and the turbocharged SR20DET variant. Although the new engine was of larger displacement, the 180SX nomenclature remained. A common body modification to the 180SX and its sister car, the North American 240SX fastback, is the Sileighty conversion.
180SX was also a trim level of the S110 Silvia in Europe. The badges for this model read "Silvia 180SX", so this car is not properly a 180SX by model, but a version of the Silvia instead.
Other discrepancies from this standard were distributed to Micronesia and South Pacific islands, including LHD cars with 180sx badges and non-retractable headlamps.
Like the Japanese 180SX SR20DET discrepancy, European, as well as South African models of the S13 chassis were called 200SX though equipped with the CA18DET engine.
- Front: McPherson strut
- Rear: Multi-link
(* ) Transmission Model RE4R01A, Code 41X71 (** ) Transmission Model FS5W71C (***) Transmission Model FS5W71C (Europe only)
The 180SX came in three major iterations, the first of which was released in March 1989 and the last of which ended production in December 1998.
The first iteration of the 180SX came in two versions called Type I (standard type) and Type II (advanced type). Nissan's HICAS II four wheel steering system was optional only on the Type II 180SX. All versions had the CA18DET engine with 175ps. 5 speed manual and 4 speed automatic transmissions were available in all types.
The second iteration 180SX was released in January 1991 and boasted several major changes from the first model. The biggest change was the adoption of the SR20DET engine with 205ps. Although the engine was larger than the previous CA18DET engine the '180SX' nomenclature remained. The brakes were enlarged to cope with the increased power as was the limited slip differential. The front bumper and parts of the interior were also redesigned for this model. Type I and Type II were once again offered with only trim differences separating the two. The 15-inch alloy wheels also changed in design from the first model. Nissan's Super HICAS four wheel steering was an option on all models as were 5 speed manual and 4 speed automatic transmissions.