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Southern Skylines ~ Skyline Encyclopedia
MODELS, IN EXTREME DETAIL (click the red link)
A31 Cefiro Townride (plus VL, SE) coming soon
A31 Cefiro Touring (plus VE) coming soon
A31 Cefiro 25SSE (plus 25SSE M Selection) coming soon
A31 Cefiro Cruising (plus SE-T and SE-4) coming soon
A31 Laurel Altima (Latin American Cefiro) coming soon

The Nissan Cefiro was an intermediate-size automobile range sold in Japan and other countries. It was introduced initially as a 4-door sedan, however a wagon was later produced with the A32 generation. A large proportion were equipped with automatic transmissions.
Originally marketed towards the Japanese salaryman, Cefiro sold much better outside Japan, becoming extremely popular among middle class in countries such as Taiwan thanks to its high performance and comparatively low price.

The top model used the same engine as found in the R32 Nissan Skyline, a 2 litre turbocharged 6 cylinder engine capable of just over 200 hp (150 kW). Other variants came with other versions of the Nissan RB engine.
Brand new, the Cefiro was slightly more expensive than the equivalent Nissan Skyline.

The Cefiro was also a grey import that was popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and Russia. With each incarnation, the Cefiro was marketed more toward the executive segment, losing some of its sporty zeal.

Townride - 2.0 L RB20E I6, 123 hp
Laurel Altima - 2.4 L RB24S, I6, 139 hp
Touring - 2.0 L RB20DE I6, 153 hp
25SSE - 2.5 L RB25DE I6, 187 hp
Cruising - 2.0 L RB20DET turbo I6, 202 hp

Released in September 1988 to the Japanese market, it ceased production in May 1994. The A31 series included many hi-tech features, such as HICAS 4-wheel steering, sonar-controlled electronic damping, automatic headlights, and an automatic electric rear view mirror, many of which were seen later on the R32 Nissan Skyline, released one year later in 1989.

The A31 Cefiro was similar to the Nissan Laurel. The Cefiro is something like a luxury Nissan Skyline although these two were produced at the same time as the Cefiro. Mechanically, it was closest to the Nissan Skyline and Nissan Laurel, as they all had the same floorpan; but it shares its MacPherson strut front suspension with the S13 Silvia with the exception of the 4WD version which shares the same front and rear suspension as the GT-R and GTS-4 Skyline.

The A31 Cefiro featured several versions of the RB series straight 6 engines including the intercooled turbo RB20DET, although it was slightly detuned in the Cefiro. It was not fitted with a re-circulating blowoff valve like the RB20DET powered Nissan Skyline. It was also, together with the R32 Nissan Skyline GTS-25, one of the first Japanese cars to have a 5 speed automatic transmission in the 2.5 litre and the very last of the 2 litre models. All 2 litre turbo versions with automatic transmissions used a 4 speed transmission.

Unlike many new car designs at the time, the A31 Cefiro was rear wheel drive, with four wheel drive models being available as well. Despite the future versions of the Nissan Laurels and Nissan Skylines being rear wheel drive, the Cefiro would later become a front wheel drive in all models following the A31 Cefiro.

At the beginning of its production it was mostly overlooked as just an ordinary family sedan compared to the Nissan Skyline but in later times it has become very popular in the drifting scene. Spurred by the relatively cheap price of the car compared to other drifting vehicles in Japan, some enthusiasts bought the Cefiro for use in drifting. As a result this car has gained cult status in Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand as a drift car due to the interchangeability of parts with other performance models and highly tunable nature of the chassis design. It is also a relatively cheap car outside Japan as it is exported second hand.

And Nissan took the unusual step of making a left-hand drive version of the Cefiro, sold in Latin America as a Nissan Laurel Altima. The sportiest trim was called GTS-R. Unlike all the Japanese versions it was fitted with a carburetted RB24 which was a single-cam 2.4-liter RB inline-six producing 139 hp (104 kW).

From 1990, the A31 was facelifted and given a softer look with revised light and bumper/grill design as well as an updated interior.

Main thanks: a31cefiro.blogspot.co.nz


- 1988 to 1994

2.0 L RB20E, I6
2.4 L RB24S, I6
2.0 L RB20DE, I6
2.5 L RB25DE, I6
2.0 L RB20DET, I6

4-door Sedan

4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
5-speed manual

Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Front engine, four-wheel drive

15" only

Oppama, Japan

Nissan Skyline (R32)
Nissan Laurel (C33)


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