Thursday, 3 May 2012
It's a Nissan Sunny basically, with the added bonus of a distinct willingness to explode into a bazillion pieces at any given moment. Ergo, it's our kind of car.
A Pulsar. Pre explosion
Nissan is a huge company, famous for many impressive cars. When they decided to get involved in the WRC back in the early '90s they raided their brochures for a suitable car. They brushed aside any notion of a Skyline - a car they had received global praise for thanks to its 4WD system and instead opted for a Nissan Sunny. You know, the car the old lady down the street drives to ASDA once a month. Riiiight.
To give them some credit, they didn't enter a 1.4LX into the WRC. That would've been silly. No, they jumped into their parts bin and treated it to a 2.0 twin-cam, 16 valve engine. They also made it 4WD and for good measure, they strapped a turbo to it. Yes, now we're talking. Of course if they wanted to rally it, they'd have to holomogate it, which means they'd have to build some road legal version for Joe Bloggs to buy.
A rallying Pulsar, presumably with its engine still intact
It was a bit of a wet blanket in the WRC and never really came to anything. No worry there though, as that meant they were cheap to buy. The boom of importing Japanese cars in the early 2000s was what really brought them to people's attention. Why buy a Skyline or Impreza for a millonty pounds when you could buy this 200+ bhp four-wheel-drive rocket for a fraction of the cast? It just made sense.
Then, once it became known, the Max Power generation got their hands on it...