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Almost Great: Nissan Primera 2.0e GT

7 months ago

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David Twohig | Engineer


8 January 2024

If I had written this piece even five years ago, I reckon most of you would already have stopped reading. You would have snorted, remembered a hundred minicab jokes, and hit the ‘next’ button. The Nissan Primera? Great? Even ‘almost’ great? Are you kidding?

I’m not. And with the renewed interest in 1990s RADwood metal, it’s worth revisiting the hottest version of this mostly unloved and now largely forgotten rep-mobile.

Right – a quick gallop through history. The P10 Primera was launched in 1990, specifically aimed at appealing to European buyers, although it was also sold in Japan, and our US readers will know it as the Infiniti G20. It was designed in the latter half of the 1980s, a period when Nissan was still surfing the tail-end of the Japanese bubble economy.

The bursting of this bubble, and Nissan’s decline in fortunes that would lead to near-bankruptcy and rescue by Renault, was still far in the future. Nissan was on a roll – expanding rapidly overseas, and aggressively attacking the European market in particular. Having invested in spanking-new state-of-the-art production plants in the US and the UK, Nissan was determined to fill those plants with attractive products, tailored to local markets, offering better technology than the local players, at competitive prices.

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