Japanese limousine of the day: the Nissan President

From 1990 to 2002 this car represented the very best Nissan could be.

1990-2002 Nissan President
1990-2002 Nissan President

It´s the President. Like the Toyota Century the styling is very formal indeed. It has overtones of Jaguar XJ-40 and Chevrolet Caprice all fused in that unique way the Japanese have of synthesising. Since this version the President has lost its way and is now a variant of something also sold as an Infiniti. It´s interesting this car or its rival, the Century have not appealed to statesmen who wanted to avoid association with the American or European hegemons. The tail-lights are too small, aren’t they? Notice that they don´t wrap around the corners.

1990 Nissan President (HG50)
1990 Nissan President (HG50)

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

9 thoughts on “Japanese limousine of the day: the Nissan President”

  1. There is a lot of the Infiniti Q45 in this car, or perhaps it’s the other way round. The centre section is virtually identical is is the overall surfacing and silhouette. Only the nose and tail lights differ markedly. It’s actually quite nice and Richard is correct – there is more than a hint of XJ40 here. Possibly because this design was loosely based on an earlier concept from Nissan; the very handsome 1985 Cue-X. A car that TWBCM’s Steve Cropley reckoned put Jaguar to shame. It could be said that he had a point…

  2. When I first saw the Cue-X, I remember thinking that Nissan were really going to make it big with their mooted range of large saloons – even taking into account the unlikelihood of a bonnet that long. Poor old Jaguar. Poor old Audi. Maybe even poor old BMW. Then along came the terribly disappointing Infinitis. The decision processes of Japanese manufacturers are very confusing sometimes.

  3. Look at the 1989 Nissan Neo-X. That’s fascinating. Like the Cue-X it develops the three box saloon.
    The Cue-X could have been the basis for a real landmark car, something the Japanese just don’t have despite frequent intense flashes visual brilliance. I am going to find a book about Japanese concept cars very soon. It’s a field of mesmerising interest for me now.
    Sean: yes, the Cue-X is every bit as disciplined as an Audi of the same time but with much better proportions. Thanks Eoin for pointing that one out! Great research, thanks.

  4. Great Stuff!
    I happen to know nothing about Japanese concept cars, but all of the three mentioned have something going for them (especially considering the time).
    Is it a mere coincidence that only Nissans came up?
    The company never struck me as being overly remarkable in terms of design (maybe apart from the Primera P12).

  5. More coincidental; and yes, Nissan don’t generally throw up much design treasure that we get to hear of. Exceptions might be the Moco (shown here recently) the Cube, the 300SX of the early 90s, and the last Maxima they sold in Europe (joking about the last one).

  6. And the Pikes cars, of course. Oh, and I was following a second generation Micra yesterday and, again, thought that, if you think the Fiat 500 is cute, then the Micra was just as cute, but more original. I’ll defuse that by admitting I don’t find the 500 cute. I get the idea that, certainly 20 to 30 years ago at Nissan, there was a great deal of (often frustrated) creativity. Is it still there now?

    I did see a final generation red Primera this Summer and thought it looked unexpectedly handsome in hindsight. The, albeit cosmetic, side creases had a logic to them that is totally lacking in, say, Mercedes. Should Mercedes take note? Yes, if they want to impress me. No, if they want to keep their 1.7 billion other potential customers.

    Does Nissan ever look at the Cue-X with regret and think that they really missed a big chance, in Europe at least?

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