This week I was surprised to learn the European Nissan Primera P10 actually is over 5 centimeters (2 inches) wider than the Japanese counterpart! This is a big revelation for me as I just assumed the same car, the same dimension. But boy I was wrong! So I started to investigate and went down the rabbit hole to share this JDM Trivia with you!
Nissan Primera P10 manufacturing in various countries
The Nissan Primera P10 started out as a replacement for the aging Nissan Bluebird T12 that was built in the Nissan Factory in Washington, Tyne and Wear in the UK. However shortly before the start of production in the UK, the Nissan Oppama factory had been crunching out Primera P10s already for a few months. The Primera produced in the Oppama factory also made their way to the United States as the Infinity G20. The Infinity G20 was only available as with the 2 litre SR20DE though.
Losing some width in Japan
The Japanese Primera was aimed to fit in the cheaper small car class tax bracket. This class is limited to 4,700mm length, 1,700mm width and 2,000mm height. The Nissan Primera P10 designed for Europe dimensions are 4,481mm in length, 1,747mm wide and 1,372mm high. In other words: it would not classify as a small car. Nissan decided to make the Japanese Primera slightly thinner and made it 1,695mm wide.
You can see it clearly if you compare the two blueprints:
Even though this German blueprint reads 1,700mm as width, the text reads the width is measured within the wheel wells. This means that including the outer fenders the total width exceeds 1,700mm.
Visually it might be difficult to see at first glance but if you look at these two side by side you might see it:
The UK-spec seems to be slightly bulgier in appearance around the fenders. So my guess is that Nissan decided to make the fenders and doors of the JDM-spec slightly thinner and more upright. It’s only 26mm (1 inch) per side they had to shave off.
What about the Infinity G20 in the United States?
Some time ago I encountered an Infinity G20 in San Mateo, CA. Back then I personally found it looked different from our European Primera P10 but I couldn’t lay a finger on it. As the Infinity G20 was manufactured in Japan (and was a rebadged Nissan Primera GT) it’s also the thinner variant. So now I know!
What about the Nissan Primera P10 successors?
The successor of the Primera P10 was the Primera P11. This car was manufactured and sold both in Europe and Japan. Naturally the same thing happened: the JDM version was limited to 1,695mm width while the European version remained 1,747mm. Naturally the same trick was applied to it’s successor, the Primera P12.
It became clear to me that certain cars were made to fit in the small car tax bracket, where the Toyota Carina and Nissan Bluebirds are other examples. What I didn’t take into account was that this could be a reason why a Japanese version would be different than a European or US variant. I hope you enjoyed this little JDM Trivia and more will come in the future!