That Time Nissan Built A Turbocharged And Supercharged Micra

The Nissan Micra, or March, has at times through history been a boredom-fest, a glorified mobility scooter and a safe, sensible first car option, but once upon a time it was also a bit unhinged...
That Time Nissan Built A Turbocharged And Supercharged Micra

Japan has come up with all sorts of weird and unlikely cars over the years, many of them relative ankle-biters. Dinky little heroes like the Honda S600, Suzuki Whizzkid and Daihatsu Copen all prove how gloriously silly the Japanese can be.

Unlike its myriad bizarre and slightly nauseating game shows, Japan’s small cars are things that the rest of the world can enjoy. Such a broad back-catalogue of interesting work provides plenty of scope for realistic ownership prospects, too. Our pick today comes from Nissan: the only twin-charged Micra it ever put into production.

Yep, that’s right: a Micra with both a turbocharger and a supercharger. In 1989. The K10 Micra (or March in some markets), possibly the least attractive supermini ever made, was plumbed with an eight-valve, 930cc four-cylinder engine boosted by the low-end torque of a supercharger and the outright top-end spin of a turbo. It was utter madness, and it was called the Micra Super Turbo.

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It was born out of a project from Nismo to build race-ready versions of the Micra/March for a one-make series in 1987. The public loved it and the decision was taken to screw some more together, this time with a full set of seats.

Amazingly, the company built some 10,000 of them. Each put out a meagre-seeming 108bhp, but given that the K10 Micra was essentially a biscuit tin with wheels it was plenty light enough to let that furious, blown MA09ERT under the bonnet cause a ruckus. Nissan quoted 620kg in competition spec, or about the same as an early desktop PC. The production version was more like 750kg (although claims seem to vary), but that’s still not exactly chubby – and it shows you the potential gains to be had from stripping it…

To this day this is the fastest production Micra ever, clocking the 0-62mph launch in a reported 7.7 seconds and crossing the quarter-mile line in 15.5 seconds. A top speed of only 112mph didn’t help, and nor did all the aerodynamic prowess of a shipping container.

That Time Nissan Built A Turbocharged And Supercharged Micra

Still, there’s much to be impressed about. This was totally out of character for the sensible Micra. Don’t forget that its 0-62mph sprint time, all that time ago, was a second faster than the second-generation Suzuki Swift Sport and only half a second slower than the 2000 Renault Sport Clio 172. It was genuinely quick, despite its relationship to the snoozefest that was the regular K10.

Air conditioning was an option. So too were electric mirrors. It had disc brakes (gasp) at the front and a viscous limited-slip differential between the front wheels. It seems crazy to think that Nissan actually did that, now that the Micra is so focused on tech and connectivity rather than driving enjoyment, but that’s part of what makes the Super Turbo so special.

That Time Nissan Built A Turbocharged And Supercharged Micra

Nissan even went to great lengths to try to sharpen-up the Super Turbo’s design. They did a good job, too, with a distinctive and unique grille, an only slightly awful bonnet scoop and inlying driving lamps. Switch them out for modern Hella or Cibie units, wire them to activate with main beam and you’ve got a miniature night-stage rally weapon. Half-hearted wheel arch extensions covered the wider track and chunkier tyres the car rode on. Different wheels added to the sportier look.

They’ve become rare; rare enough to be absent from all the major British classifieds locations websites. At the time of writing we found one reduced to $5500 in Seattle, but pickings are generally slim. As for running costs, while the engines are complex for their era it’s still possible to maintain them from your driveway if you want to.

Coupled with potential for classic car insurance discounts with some providers the Super Turbo could be a cheeky back door into the hot hatch life – but, either way, it’s a fascinating piece of oddball Japanese automotive history.


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wow I’m early better make a joke

uhhh good thing its not a boat haha geddit haha gtr boat meme haha so funhy xd

06/21/2018 - 16:42 |
6 | 6

I had a feeling this would get downvoted lmao. Guys, it’s an ironic joke. It’s supposed to be a reference to how people leave really bad, typical jokes on new posts.

06/21/2018 - 18:36 |
0 | 2
Nathan Vonlanthen

“March Super Turbo” = “812 Super Fast”. Wassup with the Supers

06/21/2018 - 16:44 |
90 | 4

Humans like putting “super” on things. Superman, supercar, superhero, super shotgun, superstar, supercede, superlative, etc..

06/21/2018 - 17:02 |
10 | 4

Mr incredible dies

06/21/2018 - 18:37 |
34 | 6

Well, the march was super for the reason that IT WAS TURBOCHARGED AND COULD WHOOP YO FERRARIS AND ** ON THE B-ROADS BOII!!!

06/21/2018 - 20:00 |
2 | 2

It’s called super turbo because it has… you (didn’t) guess it: a turbocharger AND a SUPERcharger

06/22/2018 - 01:07 |
16 | 0

Coming next year:

06/28/2018 - 06:59 |
0 | 0


06/21/2018 - 16:47 |
0 | 0


06/21/2018 - 16:58 |
38 | 2
Rand0m_c1tizen (Jon)

Remove the “super turbo” stickers, and you’d have a factory sleeper.

06/21/2018 - 17:14 |
8 | 0

You forgot the spolier tho…

06/23/2018 - 05:13 |
0 | 0

You’re about 3 months late to post this
It’s already June

06/21/2018 - 18:28 |
14 | 2
Dante Verna

There’s one of my dream cars right there…

06/21/2018 - 19:05 |
2 | 0

Anyone else here to complain about the hood scoop?

06/21/2018 - 20:03 |
0 | 0

It remains the only production Micra faster than mine. Not the greatest of titles but still

06/21/2018 - 20:06 |
2 | 0

Eyyy. I had one of these bad boys on GT2! Didn’t know it was super and turbocharged tho

06/21/2018 - 21:22 |
2 | 0


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