Are the S16 Silvia rumors actually true?

Are the S16 Silvia rumors actually true?...

Rumor has it Nissan plans to unveil an all new Nissan Silvia S16 at the 2018 Tokyo Motor Show. The Silvia first appeared back in 1965 and was made in very small numbers, around 500 to be exact. The hand built Datsun (also known as the 1966 Datsun 1600 Coupe) was a domestic model only available in Japan, but a few have made their way down to Australia and New Zealand over time. This started a decades long love affair with the S-Chassis as it would be nicknamed, with many enthusiasts worldwide. And so came the S10, S110, S12, S13, RPS13, S14, S14a and finally the S15. Sadly production ceased in 2002 and the Silvia name retired.

Throughout the years these models have been used in almost every form of Motorsport, they have created communities with an avid following internationally, and have been one of the greatest and most memorable cars for many of their owners. Every now and again we hear about the revival of the Silvia name, and we have seen some pretty cool, and not so cool renderings showing peoples personal ideas about what it could become. That brings us to now. News has started circulating around Japan that Nissan actually has been working on a new sports coupe, and that they are planning the rebirth of the Silvia with an all new S16.

This new coupe is said to feature a classic 2 door notch-back body style, coupled with many design cues taken from the old S15, the R35 GT-R and other 2017/2018 models such as the Pulsar, Maxima and even the new Navara. Speculation also includes the addition of functional carbon aero parts and a rear wheel drive configuration.

The excitement doesn't end there either. With the release of the Infiniti (Nissan Luxury Brand) 2.0 Variable Compression Ratio VC-T Turbo-Charged 4 cylinder engine at the Paris Motor Show last September, this means there actually is a suitable engine option now available to use. Initially the company released it in their Infiniti models to help with costs but plans are for the engine and its new technology to be used in more Nissan models, including those made by Nissan's partner, Renault.

So what makes this engine so special? The VC-T Variable Compression Ratio has been on engineers minds sine the invention of the modern combustion engine. OK go grab a coffee, 'cos sh!ts about to get interesting! 

The amount of compression refers to how tight the piston can squeeze an air and fuel mixture before the spark plug ignites it. At highway speed, you want to compress this volatile mix as much as possible to maximize the ‘bang’ once spark is introduced. Say you're climbing a hill, you now have auto-ignition or knocking occurring. This happens when the compressed fuel and air spontaneously ignites. That destroys engine performance, longevity and fuel economy.

The best way to avoid engine knock is to reduce the compression ratio, and this is where a big compromise comes in to play. You can't simply change piston stroke whenever you want. Depending on the car, manufacturers are forced pick a compression ratio somewhere in between. Generally speaking this isn’t perfect for economy or performance, but not terrible for it either. Volkswagen’s Jetta offers 10:1 (ie: changing cylinder space to a tenth of the original volume) and it gets 33 mpg. The Ferrari LaFerrari super-car on the other hand pushes this to 13.5:1 … and it does 217 mph (350kph).

The problem until now has been that once the compression ratio is set, there's no changing it without at least removing the cylinder head, making major changes and re-tuning the ECU to suit.

In steps the new Nissan VC-T technology. Imagine the engine stroke being continuously monitored and changed to give you optimum performance and economy with every revolution of the crankshaft. Well.. Imagine no more! Nissan's engine has a pivot arm with a connection on each end and utilizes an actuator that operates a control arm that can change the angle where the piston's connecting rod joins the crankshaft.

The engine's pistons move up and down according to the lobes on the crankshaft. But the actuator arm can change the angle of the pivot arm up and down. This means the pistons still move in the same motion with the same stroke, but phase the entire stroke up or down. Move the pivot up and there's less room at the top, which means a higher compression ratio, move the pivot down and the compression ratio goes down.

Infiniti says their system works continuously and can vary the compression ratio between 8:1 and 14:1. It also uses electronic variable valve timing on the intake valves to switch into Atkinson-cycle combustion for better efficiency. The exhaust valve uses a more common oil pressure-based cam phaser. Other features include a cylinder head with integrated exhaust manifold, electronic turbo wastegate control, and a variable displacement oil pump. Both port and direct fuel injection are used as well.

The VC-T engine offers more power and torque when compared to the standard 2.0L turbo four cylinder options from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. It also out shines the 2.0L in the Chinese-market Cadillac XT5 on horsepower. There are more powerful 2.0L turbo engines found under the hoods of cars like the Honda Civic Type-R, and Subaru Impreza STI (to name a couple). But Infiniti claims theirs to have a better combination of efficiency and power with no more compromise.

So there you have it..The very first rumor worthy of noting in regards to a Silvia return! Remember this is just speculation for now. We have contacted Nissan's Global Corporate Communications team for comment and will update you if we hear anything further. 


Sources/References: Autoblog, WIRED, s.response, spyder7


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