Nissan-Saurus: From the "what-could've-been" files

At the 1987 Tokyo Motor Show Nissan unveiled a sporty concept with a design reminiscent of the Lotus Seven. It was an open cockpit design with bulging fenders featuring a 1.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged engine. The concept had a fitting name to go with its unconventional design, the Nissan Saurus. Rather than add more sensible features to the Saurus, such as a roof, Nissan marketed the concept as part of a pair. The Jura minivan concept was introduced as a practical compliment to the roadster. This approach was very radical for the Japanese market where space for two automobiles was unrealistic for most, so it was safely assumed the Saurus concept was never meant to see production. Surprisingly enough, the twincharged engine made its way into production in 1989 through the March/Micra Super Turbo.

Despite the impracticality of the Saurus concept, there was one department of Nissan that saw potential in the design. Nismo, Nissan's motorsports division, created the Saurus Cup race series in 1989. The series featured single seater sheetmetal tub racecars with fiberglass molded bodies replicating the Saurus concept. The car was also used for Nissan Racing School. The successor to the Saurus racecar, the Saurus Jr., is still used for advanced racing classes today.

Follow the jump to see more images related to the Nissan Saurus concept.

[Source: Grand JDM]

1987 Nissan Saurus Concept, below

1987 Nissan Jura Concept, below

Nissan Saurus Cup Racecar, below

Nissan Saurus Jr. Racecar, below

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