The Silvia (CSP311) was introduced in March 1965 and attracted attention as Japan's first specialty car. Following the S10 (launched October 1975) and S110 (launched March 1979), the S12, the fourth-generation model, was launched on August 23, 1983 (its sibling, the Gazelle, was launched at the same time).
The Silvia was on the cutting edge, with its innovative styling and lively performance. The S12 was no exception: with its bold front mask and fully retractable headlights, a powerful wedge-type silhouette, and high-performance twin-cam 24-valve FJ20 engine, this unique car was very popular. Two body types were available: a coupe with a notchback roof, and a hatchback with a wide-opening rear gate.
Following a minor change in February 1986, the FJ20ET and FJ20E engines were replaced with the new 1.8-liter twin-cam turbo 145PS (net) CA18DET engine, following which all models were powered by the CA18 family.
The twin-cam turbo RS-X was the top-of-the-line model for both the coupe and hatchback series. Following a minor change in February 1986, it was equipped with an electronically controlled 4-speed lockup automatic transmission with overdrive that automatically switches between power and economy modes.