The Nissan Silvia is a sports car designed and built in Japan.
This car got its unlikely name from the designer, Mr. Ootake, who in turn took the name 'Silvia' from Greek Mythology: it was the name of a beautiful nymph, who according to Roman Mythology (which borrows from the Greek) was the mother of Romulus and Remus.
So, sleek and beautiful was what they were aiming for: unfortunatly 'Silvia' is no longer a name that conjures up -that- particular image.

The most common incarnation was built between 1988 and 1993, also known as the S13. Three models exist within this series: J's (Jacks), Q's (Queens) and K's (Kings).
The J's are the base model.
The Q's are a luxury, non-turbo model.
The K's are a turbo luxury model.

The S13 series is actually composed of two makes: the first, running from 1988 and finishing in mid-1990, was designated S13 Series 1. These cars contained 1.8 litre CA18DE(T) engines.
The second run, starting from mid-1990 and continuing until late 1993 were designated S13 Series 2. These cars contained 2.0 litre SR20DE(T) engines. A breakdown of the engine code is as follows:

CA - The engine model (CA, SR, RB)
18 - The capacity of the engine (1.8L)
D - Double overhead cams (or Twin Cam)
E - Electronic Fuel injection
T - Turbo model

In shape, Silvias are two door coupes, capable of seating 5 (though it would be a very tight squeeze in the rear seat). Manufactured with both 5-speed manual and 3-speed automatic (with Overdrive) transmissions, although only around 20% of the production runs were manual.

The Nissan 180SX is a direct descendant of the Silvia, with both cars sporting identical specifications but different body types.
In addition, the name Silvia is only applied to models built within Japan.
Within Australia, these cars are known as the Nissan 200SX, but were not imported in bulk until 1994 at the beginning of the S14 series. S13 Silvias are becoming more common within Australia as they reach a certain age (and are hence hard to register in Japan, which means higher volume private and dealer imports into Australia), and make for cheap, high performance 4 cylinder cars.

However, within America these cars are known as the Nissan 240SX. It is unclear when these were imported into the US in bulk versus private imports, but recent posts on Australian Silvia newsgroups have suggested that this car is not very common in the USA.

For more information, see