I’m so board with the look of vans in the United States, aren’t you? A long time ago, Nissan showed some initiate (and a pair of brass ones) when they produced the Nissan S-Cargo. Styled to look like the friggin’ cool Citroën 2CV, the Nissan S-Cargo was built in limited numbers (12,000) and sold only in Japan. Based on the minuscule Nissan Micra, the Nissan S-Cargo sported a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine paired with a 3-speed automatic transmission. Output was 72 horsepower and 86 lbs-feet of torque – which is pretty skimpy, but it only weighed a tad more than a ton.
Yes, Nissan has lots of vans (like the Nissan Quest) available in the USA – but, they are not much fun.
The Nissan S-Cargo was a front drive, commodious, completely bizarre vehicle that was remarkably utilitarian. In 1989, you could plunk down ¥1,250,000 which is about $13,000 and have the perfect college machine. Dude, you could haul a moped, four buddies, three large pizzas, Frisbees, bongs, hacky sacks and a school book or two.
I saw one near Trafalgar Square, UK many moons past and I was blown away with how unique and simple the design was.
So, what do you think about Nissan bringing something like the Nissan S-Cargo back?
Here’s what I propose based on the gripes I’ve heard from others:
- Keep the styling in line with the original Nissan S-Cargo – only slightly enlarged. It needs to be big enough to hold a full sized motorcycle and a driver.
- The seats need to stow flat and there should be space for five people.
- Keep the drive-train peppy. Maybe the sweet Nissan Juke, 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) DOHC 16-valve, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 188 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque.
- Have a six-speed manual option along with a CVT, because Nissan can’t make a car without one.
- Make it easy to configure and simple to upgrade.
- That’s just about it… oh, none of the current Nissan designers can touch it. It has to look and have the same feel as the original.
What do you think folks? Should we start a letter writing campaign today?
Here’s another Nissan that has some big shoes to fill in this video.
I’m quite serious about having something like the Nissan S-Cargo out there. Life is too short to drive boring vehicles, even tiny vans.