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1986 Nissan Box-Type Gets New Electric Engine

NISSAN UK celebrated 35 years of auto production by swapping an EV engine on a 1986 Bluebird/Sentra, following the trend of electrifying modern classic cars.

Christened Newbird, the battery-powered hatchback got its powertrain from a modern Leaf EV. The car is a symbolic piece to the company’s British arm as Nissan had set up its UK assembly plant at Sunderland in 1986 which produced the original Bluebird line that same year.

Today, the company retains its strong hold at Sunderland where they continue to build the Nissan Leaf. Resto-modding a Leaf-powered Bluebird is a proper homage to the factory's history and its strong brand heritage in the region.

The Newbird is powered by an EV motor with 40.0-kWh battery pack, with both cells divided between its front end and its cargo area. The charging port of the car is located behind the original fuel-filler flap, while the stock fuel gauge was modified to show the battery's remaining power.

To complete the EV aesthetic, Nissan adorned the exterior with LED taillights, LED backlighting for the Nissan badge, and a set of colorful '80s decals that helped set a period-correct retro vibe to the car.

Article by: PAULO CUENTO February 18, 2022

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