Nissan Figaro

Nissan Figaro (E-FK10)
Manufacturer Nissan
Production 1991
Assembly Oppama Plant, Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan
Designer Naoki Sakai and Shoji Takahashi
Body and chassis
Class City car
Body style 2-door convertible
Layout FF layout
Platform Nissan B platform
Engine 987 cc MA10ET I4 turbo
Transmission 3-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,300 mm (91 in)
Length 3,740 mm (147 in)
Width 1,630 mm (64 in)
Height 1,365 mm (53.7 in)
Curb weight 810 kg (1,790 lb)

The Nissan Figaro is a two-door 2+2 retro-styled fixed-profile convertible manufactured by Nissan for model year 1991, and originally marketed solely in Japan at their Nissan Cherry Stores.

With its design variously attributed to Naoki Sakai[1] and/or Shoji Takahashi,[2] twenty thousand examples were marketed by Nissan in the convertible's single year of production[3] all with right hand drive.[4]

Because of its origins at Pike Factory, Nissan's special project group, the Figaro along with the Nissan Pao, Be-1 and S-Cargo are known as Nissan's "Pike cars."

In 2011, noted design critic Phil Patton, writing for the New York Times, called the Pike cars "the height of postmodernism"[2] and "unabashedly retro, promiscuously combining elements of the Citroën 2CV, Renault 4, Mini [and] Fiat 500."[2]


The Figaro was introduced at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show under the slogan "Back to the Future". The name references the title character in the play The Marriage of Figaro by Pierre Beaumarchais.

Based on the Nissan Micra, the Figaro was built at Aichi Machine Industry,[1] a special projects group which Nissan would later call "Pike Factory," which also produced three other niche automobiles: the Be-1, Pao and S-Cargo.

As a fixed-profile convertible, the upper side elements of the Figaro's bodywork remain fixed, while its fabric soft top retracts to provide a less fully open experience than a typical convertible. The fixed-profile concept is seen on other convertibles, including the Citroën 2CV (1948–1990), the Nash Rambler Convertible "Landau" Coupe (1950), and the 1957 Fiat 500 as well its 2007 Fiat 500 successor.

The Figaro was marketed in four colours representing the four seasons: Topaz Mist (Autumn), Emerald Green (Spring), Pale Aqua (Summer) and Lapis Grey (Winter). Few, reportedly 2,000, were marketed in Topaz Mist.

The Figaro was equipped with leather seats, air conditioning, CD player and a fixed-profile slide-back open roof.

8000 were originally available with an additional 12,000 added to production numbers to meet demand. Prospective purchasers entered a lottery to purchase a Figaro. Limited edition cars came with passenger side baskets and cup holders.


Nissan Figaro (Japan)
Nissan Figaro interior
Back of the Nissan Figaro

Sarah Jane Smith drove a mint green Nissan Figaro in the BBC spin-off television series of Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Andrew Marr is seen driving a Figaro in the opening credits of the Sunday morning BBC One programme The Andrew Marr Show.[5]

The car has a brief cameo in Mako's flashback of a Kaiju attack on Tokyo in 2016, in the film Pacific Rim, where it can briefly be seen as a fleet of fighter jets fly above.

The car has a cameo in the Canadian Sci-Fi show, Continuum, season 1, episode 7.

In the Japanese TV drama Aibō, the lead detective drives one that is painted black and had driven the same car since the series began in 2000.

The YouTube show Mighty Car Mods bought a Figaro to replace The Blue Turd, but it lost in the Figaro vs The Blue Turd episode.

Pop star Marina and the Diamonds used a bluish/grey Figaro in the music video for her song Blue, from her third album Froot.

Noted Nissan Figaro owners, include FC Barcelona and Belgian footballer Thomas Vermaelen,[6] guitarist Eric Clapton, Canadian Tabla/Ghazal Wizard Cassius Khan, TV presenter Vanessa Feltz, and Princess Eugenie.[7] Mollie King, from British girl group The Saturdays is another owner. Mami Ayukawa purchased a Figaro new in 1991 and was driving it as of 2013.[8]


  1. 1 2 Brendan McAleer (July 28, 2015). "No matter how you slice it, the pint-sized Nissan Figaro is just plain fun". Driving.CA.
  2. 1 2 3 Phil Patton (March 18, 2011). "Nissan's Cartoon Cars, Once So Hip". The New York Times.
  3. A.J. Baime (April 19, 2016). "How a Nissan Figaro Became an Instant Classic in the U.S.". The Wall Street Journal.
  4. Jim Cherry (May 7, 2010). "1991 Nissan Figaro: Back to the future in Pee Wee Herman's dream car". The
  5. The Andrew Marr Show - Frequently Asked Questions BBC One
  6. "Thomas Vermaelen urged to ditch his old banger by Arsenal captain Robin Van Persie". Associated Newspapers Limited. 15 October 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  7. Toby Brooks, Origins of the Nissan Figaro, The Figaro Shop
  8. My Friend "FIGARO" mami's talking
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