Nissan EXA

The Nissan Pulsar EXA and Nissan EXA are automobiles manufactured and marketed by Nissan Motor Company from 1983 to 1986 and from 1986 to 1990 respectively. The first generation model was internally designated as the N12 series and was marketed in Japan at Nissan Cherry Store locations as the Pulsar EXA. The second generation EXA was designated as the N13 series.

Both generations were marketed in North America under the name Nissan Pulsar NX.

Nissan Pulsar EXA (N12; 1982–1986)Edit

Nissan Pulsar EXA (N12)
Nissan Pulsar EXA Turbo (Australia)
Also calledNissan Pulsar NX
Body and chassis
ClassSports Car
Body style2-door coupé
2-door convertible
LayoutTransverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
RelatedNissan Sunny (B11)
Nissan Pulsar (N12)
Engine1270 cc E13 I4
1488 cc E15 I4
1488 cc E15ET turbo I4
1597 cc E16 I4
Wheelbase2,421 mm (95.3 in)
Length3,970 mm (156.3 in)
Width1,631 mm (64.2 in)
Height1,400 mm (55.1 in)
Curb weight863 kg (1,903 lb)

The Pulsar EXA was known in North America as the Pulsar NX and shared many of its parts with the Nissan Sentra. It was available from 1982 to 1986 and came with several of the engines also seen in the regular Pulsars. In North America. where it arrived for model year 1983, it received either the fuel injected turbocharged E15ET engine or the carburetted naturally aspirated E16S engine. The Pulsar EXA followed a successful strategy Nissan used in Japan of offering the economical Nissan Sunny in an affordable, youth-oriented two-door coupé, demonstrated by the Nissan Sunny fastback coupé, which was offered since the Sunny's introduction in 1966. As the Pulsar was a companion to the Nissan Sunny, but offered at a different Japanese Nissan dealership called Nissan Cherry Store, the Pulsar EXA followed in the tradition of the Sunny Coupé. The car's peculiar upright styling is partially due to the decision to use the regular Pulsar's rather tall windshield and cowl.[1] As a result, the dashboard was largely identical to that of a Pulsar hatchback or sedan.

The Pulsar EXA was first introduced in April 1982 with two versions of the E15 engine, either carburetted or fuel injected. In May 1983 the turbocharged E15ET engine was introduced, producing 115 PS (85 kW; 113 hp) at 5600 rpm. The same spec was used on cars exported to Singapore, where the top speed was listed as 185 km/h (115 mph) with a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 8.8 seconds.[2] At this time, a door mirror became standard on the EXA rather than the traditional fender-mounted unit.[3] Fender-mounted mirrors had been required by law until March 1983 and the Pulsar EXA was the first Japanese car to be equipped with door-mounted mirrors in the domestic market.[4]

In Japan, the Pulsar EXA convertible was a limited edition model was designed to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Nissan Cherry Japanese dealership chain, and sold as a companion to the Nissan Pulsar. It appeared in Japan the same year as the Honda CR-X in the same marketing segment, replacing the Nissan Pulsar N10 series coupe. It was launched in May 1985, and just 100 vehicles were made available for the whole of Japan. The vehicle sports numerous special accessories, including a soft top made from a special insulating material to keep out the rain and heat, and a rear window made from organic glass to ensure high visibility.

In September 1983, Nissan Australia released the two-door Pulsar EXA coupé with the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. This model develops 77 kW (105 PS; 103 hp) at 6500 rpm.[5]

Nissan EXA (N13; 1986–1990)Edit

Nissan EXA (N13)
1988–1990 Nissan EXA coupe (Australia)
Also calledNissan Pulsar NX
DesignerKoichiro Kawamura
Body and chassis
Body style3-door T-top coupé
LayoutTransverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
EngineCA16DE DOHC I4
Transmission5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,430 mm (95.7 in)
Length4,230 mm (166.5 in)
Width1,680 mm (66.1 in)
Height1,295 mm (51.0 in)
Curb weight1,070 kg (2,359 lb)
SuccessorNissan NX (B14)

Released in 1986, the N13 EXA was marketed in Japan as the Nissan EXA and in North America as the Nissan Pulsar NX. It was offered in only one bodystyle, but could be converted into a coupé, a targa, a cabriolet or a station wagon by removing or replacing panels.[6] It featured a "T-bar removable hatch roof" [7] and could accommodate either of two distinct removable rear hatch designs, a coupé-style hatch door or a station wagon / shooting brake style canopy, marketed as the Sportbak. The EXA / Pulsar NX could also be driven without either rear hatch. The design was conceived largely at the Nissan Design International (now Nissan Design America) studios in San Diego, CA and shared styling cues (prominently, the rear side window angle) with the contemporary two-door Nissan Pathfinder/Terrano (WD21) SUV. The design was done under the direction of NDI President Jerry Hirshberg, Blue Studio Chief Designer Allan Flowers and Doug Wilson. The EXA / Pulsar NX featured the CA16DE engine.

NIssan EXA N13 with Sportbak canopy open
Nissan EXA N13 with Sportbak rear canopy

In Australia, the Series 1 EXA (1986–1987) came with the CA16DE, vinyl rear seats, front vented disk with rear drum brakes, and power steering. The Series 2 EXA (1988–1989) featured the CA18DE and cloth rear seats. There were also two GP versions of the S2 EXA made. 45 white GP edition vehicles were specially made for the celebrity race at the Adelaide Grand Prix in 1988. They had all the features of the Series 2, but also had Pulsar SSS wheels, build numbers on a badge in the dash and a factory roll cage which was removed after the race. The 1989 GP featured all the same features of the Series 2 EXA. They also had the Pulsar SSS wheels, a more aggressive front bumper, and build numbers on a badge in the dash. All 200 of the 1989 GPs made were painted red. The Series 3 (1990–91) EXA added rear disc brakes, improved seats and optional power windows.

1988–1990 Nissan EXA coupé (Australia)

The Nissan EXA Solaire was a luxury version of the base model that featured power windows, five-spoke alloy wheels, and a different front bumper. In 1991, Kodak had a competition for five fully optioned Series 3 Nissan EXAs. The Kodak EXAs featured an exclusive pearlescent yellow paint scheme. In 1988, a 1986 EXA was offered in a competition to win that had been used on stage for a Kylie Minogue concert, it was originally a grey/white colour but was painted pink for the competition.

The North American Pulsar NX was offered in two trim levels: the XE (1.6-liter E16i in 1987–1988 and 1.6-liter GA16i in 1989–1990) and the twin-cam, SE (1.6-liter CA16DE in 1987 and 1.8-liter CA18DE in 1988–1989).

The EXA/Pulsar NX was replaced in 1991 with the Nissan NX coupé.

Engines offered in the Pulsar NX:


  • 1.6 L E16i, 1,597 cc, single point TBI, SOHC
  • 1.6 L CA16DE, 1,597 cc, multi point EFI, DOHC


  • 1.6 L E16i, 1,597 cc, single point TBI, SOHC
  • 1.8 L CA18DE, 1,809 cc, multi point EFI, DOHC


  • 1.6 L GA16i, 1,597 cc, single point TBI, SOHC
  • 1.8 L CA18DE, 1,809 cc, multi point EFI, DOHC


  • 1.6 L GA16i, 1,597 cc, single point TBI, SOHC
  • 1.8 L CA18DE, 1,809 cc, multi point EFI, DOHC


  1. ^ Robinson, Peter (June 1984). "Earthbound ET". Wheels. Sydney, Australia: Murray Publishers: 34.
  2. ^ Lee, Winston (1983-12-25). "Turbo delights". Straits Times. Singapore: 10. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  3. ^ 自動車ガイドブック [Japanese Motor Vehicles Guide Book 1983-84] (in Japanese), 30, Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, 1983-10-28, p. 158, 0053-830030-3400
  4. ^ Takahashi, Mitsuru (2015-03-23). "昔の日本車はサイドミラーがフェンダーに付いていた。その理由とは……" [Old Japanese cars had side mirrors on the fenders. What is the reason...]. (in Japanese). Recruit Marketing Partners Co., Ltd. Archived from the original on 2019-05-22.
  5. ^ Murray, Bob (June 1984). "Turbos for today". Wheels. Sydney, Australia: Murray Publishers: 83.
  6. ^ Davis, Tony (1990), The New Car Buyers Guide, 1990/91 (1st ed.), North Ryde, NSW, Australia: Universal Magazines, p. 89
  7. ^ Nissan EXA (sales brochure), Nissan Motor Company (Australia) Pty. Ltd., April 1990