Nissan A31 Cefiro

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Keywords: Nissan A31 Cefiro
Description: Nissan released the A31 Cefiro saloon to Japan in September 1988. It shares its transmission, engine, and rear suspension setup with the R32 Skyline, C33 Laurel, and F31 Leopard, with the exception

Nissan released the A31 Cefiro saloon to Japan in September 1988. It shares its transmission, engine, and rear suspension setup with the R32 Skyline, C33 Laurel, and F31 Leopard, with the exception for the diesel engine which was only available for Laurel. The chassis platform and front suspension (strut type) was shared with the Laurel with the one exception of the 4WD Cefiro, which used the Skyline GTS4 front suspension (multi link type) and front drive train. The chassis was shared with the Laurel only as it had a slightly longer wheelbase than the Skyline chassis. It was also one of the first Japanese production vehicles to be equipped with a 5 speed Automatic transmission, which was available in the 2.5 L engine and later 2.0 L 24V engines.

The Cefiro was introduced as a rival for Toyota Corona, Honda Accord, and Mazda 626. The model code "A31" as chosen as the number combination "A30" was previously used by the 1967-1971 Nissan Gloria soon after Nissan had merged with the Prince Motor Company. Brand new, the Cefiro was slightly more expensive than the equivalent Nissan Skyline and had many modern features available for the first time, such as projector headlights, automatic tinting rear view cabin mirror, electric seats, automatic headlights, steering wheel mounted radio controls, HICAS four-wheel steering, electronically adjustable (damper) suspension and Nissan's proprietary 4WD system, ATTESA E-TS.

Nissan took the unusual step of making a left-hand drive version of the Cefiro A31, sold in Latin America, Turkey, and some Eurasian countries as a Nissan Laurel Altima (in most export markets this slot was filled by the Nissan Maxima). Unlike the standard Japanese versions, export models are fitted with a carburetted single cam CA20S inline-4 producing 102 hp (72 kW) and RB24 engine which was a single-cam 2.4 liter RB inline-6 produced 141 hp (105 kW). Left hand drive Laurel Altimas was the flagship vehicle of Nissan's Turkish lineup for the early 1990's. Unlike in Indonesia, the Cefiro was fitted the standard 2.0 liter RB20E inline-6 single cam engine produced 130 hp (96 kW), same engine as the base model for Japanese market, the Town Ride. It was introduced in 1989 for Indonesian market, and a facelift version introduced in 1992 as Cefiro SV. Both versions using the same RB20E engine. It doesn't sold really well in Indonesia, as they had too advanced technological features for that time.

From 1990, the A31 was facelifted and given a softer look with revised tail lights, center console, grill and cabin fabrics. Also available from 1990 was the line up of "SE" models, these features yet another revised tail light, silver grill, revised bumpers, center console, and updated interior. The exterior dimensions and engine displacement were in compliance with Japanese Government regulations for vehicles classed as "compact" helping to ensure strong demand in Japan.

Nissan debuted the A32 Cefiro in August 1994 for the Japanese market. With the debut of the A32, Nissan changed the market orientation of the Cefiro from a premium sports saloon (A31) to a slightly larger executive saloon. Generally, the A32 was only badged as the Cefiro in Japan for the domestic market. The A32s that were exported new from japan often wore the Maxima badge. In Europe, the A32 was sold as the "Nissan Maxima QX". In Taiwan, the Cefiro A32 was manufactured by Yulon under the Nissan brand. Other countries that adopted the Cefiro name including Malaysia and Singapore. In Korea, it was a badge engineered and introduced as the Renault Samsung SM5.

This particular series was softened considerably, lacking the sporting edge of the A31, losing the inline-six engine and rear-wheel drive for front-wheel drive and a V6, the latter being Nissan's award-winning VQ series engines. The Japanese market Cefiro was also offered as a wagon, as an alternative to the Toyota Mark II Qualis, from 1997 to 2000.

Infiniti launched the Cefiro in North America as the "Infiniti I30" in 1995 for the 1996 model year. All I30 models were built at Oppama, Japan (the former home of the Maxima), commencing June 27, 1995. It replaced the Infiniti J30. The rear badge of the I30 used a cursive letter "I" instead of a matching font used for the "30" designation, as the "I" would have appeared as a number "1", labeling the car confusingly as the 130, in conflict with Infiniti's alphanumeric naming convention.

As Infiniti's top seller at the time, the I30 remained the brand's mid-level model, joining the entry-level Primera-based Infiniti G20 until the introduction of the Skyline-based Infiniti G35 to North America for the 2003 model year. The Infiniti I30 was also sold in South Korea and Indonesia.

The I30 used the 3.0-liter VQ30DE V6 engine producing 190 hp (142 kW) and shared with the Maxima. Infiniti made several revisions to the I30 over the years, including a revised tail-lights and trunk garnish. The Touring model I30t gained five-spoke alloy wheels instead of the old BBS wheels. It also came with more aggressive suspension tuning as well as a spoiler and BBS wheels, and a small percentage of first-generation I30s had five-speed manual transmissions, many with VLSD. An in-dash hands-free car phone was also available as an option.

Nissan released the A33 series in December 1998 for the Japanese market. In Japan, trim levels were 2.0 and 2.5 Excimo, 2.0 and 2.5 Excimo G, 2.0 and 2.5 S Touring, and 3.0 Brougham VIP. Five-speed manual transmission was only offered the for 2.0 Excimo and 2.0 S Touring. The limited edition "L Selection" and modified Autech version were also offered in Japan.

In Australia, the A33 was called Nissan Maxima and sold from 1999 through to 2003. Trim levels were S, ST, and Ti—all powered by the 3.0-liter engine.

The A33 is still in production for the Malaysian market and is available as the 3.0 Brougham VIP and Excimo 2.0 G. The Malaysian model is manufactured by Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn Bhd in Kuala Lumpur.[1] Another Cefiro version was built from Yulon for the Taiwanese market. It was the last Nissan Cefiro manufactured by Yulon. It was displaced in 2002 by vehicles from the GM Yulon joint-venture. In Korea, it continued to be sold as the badge engineered Renault Samsung SM5.

Infiniti utilised the A33 series as an update for the I30 in 1999 for the 2000 model year. Engine power was up to 227 hp (169 kW) but the manual transmission was no longer offered in North America (it continued to be available in the Middle East). One key complaint many people voiced about the A32 Infiniti I30 was that it was too similar to its Nissan Maxima counterpart. To address these complaints, differences of the Infiniti I30 compared to the Nissan Maxima for both models' redesign for the 2000 model year included a more powerful engine thanks to the addition of a variable capacity muffler and an additional fenderwell air intake, different body styling, gauge cluster design, a foot-pedal parking brake (as compared to the Maxima's center console mounted lever), center dashboard design, and the availability of a rear sunshade. If one chose the I30t (t standing for "touring"), then the vehicle would come equipped with High-Intensity Discharge (HID) xenon headlamps with darker colored headlamp surrounds, a limited-slip differential, larger, 17" wheels, and the availability of a Sport Package which consisted of a rear decklid-mounted spoiler and side-sill body extensions. The rear spoiler was offered as a dealer accessory on the non-Touring I30, but the full Sport Package was unavailable. In testing, many editorials claimed that when compared to the Infiniti I30's competition, the Acura 3.2TL and Lexus ES300, the Infiniti was a middle-ground between the two, stating that the I30 was neither as sporty as the Acura, nor as comfortable as the Lexus.

In late 2001 the model got its most significant host of upgrades, including styling changes, minor revisions to the interior, new optional equipment, larger brakes, a re-tuned suspension system, a standard traction control system, and optional electronic stability control. The updated model was renamed " Infiniti I35" to reflect an engine displacement increase from 3.0 to 3.5 liters, with the new VQ35DE V6, producing 255 hp (190 kW).

In September 2004, Nissan announced that I35 production would cease and that model year 2004 would be the last for this vehicle. It was also the last remaining front-wheel drive Infiniti since the G20 ended production after the 2002 model year. Infiniti discontinued the I after a short run of 2004 models, replaced by the new Infiniti M which had been introduced earlier for the 2003 model year. Sales also could have declined due to the redesign of the Infiniti G, another mid-size sedan, with a coupe option, with better driving dynamics, more enthusiast-centric styling, more power, and different drivetrain options, being Rear-Wheel Drive or All-Wheel Drive as opposed to the I35's Front-Wheel Drive.

Indonesian versions were sold from 2000 to 2002 as the Infiniti I30 Standard and Touring. The later models from 2002 to 2003 was sold as Nissan Cefiro 3.0 Brougham VIP.

The Cefiro disappeared in 2003, but the name continues to be used in some export markets, using the Nissan Teana (J31) as a new replacement model. The J31 Teana was sold under the name of Cefiro in Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Singapore, Brunei, Latin America and the Caribbean. Ghandhara Nissan was the last plant using the Cefiro name until late 2012 when it was replaced by the Nissan Teana J32.



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