Nisota Cherrina X- Surf mashup

Posted on

Nisota Cherrina X- Surf

The Nisota Cherrina may sound odd, but it simply fuses the Nissan Cherry and Toyota Carina ST Surf together in one car! The front section is taken from the Nissan Cherry and the rear section is taken from the Toyota Carina ST Surf. The fusion of these two cars was born out of the necessity to cut costs and both manufacturers combined forces, combining the best of both cars into this new Nisota Cherrina. Nissan and Toyota deemed it a good idea to combine the front of a coupe and the rear of a van.

Nissan Cherry + Toyota Carina ST Surf = Nisota Cherrina X- Surf
Nissan Cherry + Toyota Carina ST Surf = Nisota Cherrina X- Surf

The Nisota Cherrina combines the late 60s and early 80s. The tiny Cherry featured a Space Age design from the late 60s. In 1971 coupe was released and it’s bonkers C-pillar with an enormous blindspot topped the Space Age design. Fender mounted mirrors were a necessity to give the driver at least some rear visibility.
The Carina featured a typically 1980s style digital dashboard. Toyota produced these dashboards way before Knight Rider made them fashionable.

Nisota Cherrina blueprint - Nisota Cherrina X- Surf mashup
Nisota Cherrina blueprint – Nisota Cherrina X- Surf mashup

Nisota Cherrina Chassis

The Nisota Cherrina has 5 doors and the total length of the car is 4212mm. The weight of the car also changed from 690 kilograms (Nissan Cherry) and 1045 kilograms (Toyota Carina ST Surf) to 927 kilograms (2045 pounds).

Nisota Cherrina: a car mashup of the Nissan Cherry and Toyota Carina ST Surf

Number of doors 5
Length 4212mm
Width 1490mm
Height 1650mm
Wheelbase 2417mm
Weight 927kg
Front suspension McPherson
Rear suspension Solid axle
Topgear ratio 1.000
Final drive 4.067
Nisota Cherrina X-Surf
Nisota Cherrina X-Surf

Nisota Cherrina Engine and drivetrain

The Cherrina features the A12T engine up front. This engine delivers 70 horsepower. Apparently there has been a literal power struggle between Nissan and Toyota over the choice of engines. Nissan clearly won, hence the choice for the A12T engine. As the ST Surf rear wheels are powered, the FWD and RWD combined means the Cherrina is a 4WD!
With the weight of the car being 927 kilograms, this alters the power to weight ratio to 29.34 lb/hp (17.84 kg/kW)
Nissan A12T engine

Engine A12T
Engine location front
Engine layout Transverse
Displacement 1171
Bore x Stroke 73 x 70
Cylinders 4
Aspiration Dual-sidedraft Hitachi carburettors
Intercooler no
Power 70 hp (52 kW)
Torque 98 Nm (72 lb.ft)
Gearbox 4 speed manual

The A12T features dual-sidedraft 38mm Hitachi carburettors. This setup is slightly different from the A12GX engine and can be recognized by the flat tops on the carburettors.This was the first front wheel drive car by Nissan and used the 1.2 litre Nissan A12 engine that was already well known as a longitudinal mounted engine in the Nissan Sunny B110.

Nisota Cherrina X- Surf trim level

The X- Surf mixes the best out of the Nissan Cherry X-1R and the Toyota Carina ST Surf.
Nisota Cherrina front trim: taken from the Nissan Cherry
The normal Cherry already featured a spartan interior, but the X-1R received firmer vinyl seats and an oil pressure meter on top of that. Obviously the rear end has a wagon tail gate. To allow its owners to slip in a surfboard more easily the rear bench can be folded down in two halfs.
Nisota Cherrina rear trim: taken from the Toyota Carina ST Surf

Nisota Cherrina Trivia

Even though the front of the X-1R looks the same as it’s ordinary counterpars, the badge on the grille makes it indistinguishable from its lesser counterparts. Already in the early 1970s Toyota was experimenting with recreational vehicles. Don’t think of the American RV here: these cars were aimed more towards camping and beach trips. In the early 1980s Toyota had developed a whole range of vehicles that fit into the recreational vehicle concept and included, next to the Carina Surf, a Land Cruiser, HiLux Surf, Master Ace Surf and the Crown Station Wagon. Now this Nisota Cherrina has been added to this list!

The original front: Nissan Cherry

This particular model of the Nissan Cherry was sold in 1969. The body style is a door coupe.
Nissan Cherry
Prior to the Nissan and Prince Motor Company merger, the Prince engineers were already working on a small front wheel drive car aimed to appeal to a young audience. After the merger the car got known as the Nissan Cherry E10. As Prince never developed a small capacity engine by themselves, the Nissan Sunny derived A10 and A12 engines were the ideal candidate to be mounted longitudinal in the small engine bay. The Cherry was the first front wheel drive car by Nissan and got the designation FF Cherry for this reason.

Sedan versus Coupe

The Cherry was first offered in a two door and four door sedan in October 1970, which was joined by the coupe in September 1971 and finally joined by the three door van in March 1972. In March 1973 the Nissan Cherry X-1R is released where the coupe received a set of bolt on fender flares. In 1973 also the Cherry receives a facelift, meaning the X-1R featuring the pre-facelift front are extremely rare. Even though the Cherry E10 got replaced in 1974 by the F10, the Cherry E10 was sold until 1977. About 3000 Cherry X-1Rs have been sold and only 53 are registered in Japan today, obviously many of them ended as a back yard ornament or got scavenged for it’s engine and tail lights.

The Nissan Cherry ad campaign

The Nissan Cherry was aimed at youthful buyers with a lower income and the ad campaign focused around youngsters driving around in small traditional Japanese backdrops. This campaign reflected the Japanese society of that era: split between the modern urban areas that attracted young people and the traditional villages where the elderly were left behind.
Nissan Cherry

The Nissan Cherry in popular media

The Nissan Cherry E10 has become a cult car after it got the star role in the popular indie game ‘My Summer Ride’ where you have to get a trashed up two door Cherry E10 working again. The X-1R always has been a desirable icon, which was mainly due to it’s racing pedigree. Kazuyoshi Hoshino raced the Nissan Cherry X-1R in the Minor Touring Class series and dominated it with the lightweight Cherry, this is where he earned his ‘Cherry Hoshino’ moniker. Apart from the professional racer Hoshino, the Cherry X-1 was widely used by entry racers. The tail lights of the facelifted X-1R are an extremely popular item to be swapped into kaido racers. Many of these have ended up used on the inner side of the Nissan Skyline C210 tail lights.

Unboxing – 1973 Nissan Cherry X-1-R (Douyusha, 1/24, Electric Motorized) by Wasabi Cars

The original rear: Toyota Carina ST Surf

This particular model of the Toyota Carina ST Surf was sold in 1982. The body style is a door van.
Toyota Carina ST Surf
The first generation Carina and Celica had been built on a shortened floorpan of the midrange Corona to fill a stopgap between the Corona and the Corolla. The second generation Celica and Carina grew in wheelbase and length so it was decided to merge the Celica, Carina and Corona in the third generation to save cost. The third generation Toyota Carina was therefore almost a direct copy of the second generation: the platform got extended with a few centimeters, the shape more angular and it inherited the independent rear suspension (IRS) from the Carina based Celica Camry.

LASRE Engines

The new generation also iterated on the same engines, but the Toyota LASRE program ensured during launch time the new 3A-U and 1S-U were available so the engines were quite diverse. The 1S-U replaced the aging 21R-U having two very different 1.8 litre petrol engines (3T-EU and 1S-U) in the lineup at launch time. This only confused more when a year after launch, in October 1983, the range got extended with the Twin Cam Twin Spark Turbo 3T-GTEU engine replacing the older Twin Cam 18R-GEU engine introducing the new GT-T and GT-TR models. At the same time a new model called Jeune is introduced as a high tech car full of driving aids for less experienced (female) drivers including automatic transmission (four speed manual optional), power steering and reverse ultrasound parking sensors called the back sonar. In the meanwhile in February 1982 diesel engines and the Carina Surf (SA60G) also had been launched.

Then in May 1983 the aging 2T-GEU was replaced with the all new Twin Cam 16 valve 4A-GE in the GT and the now new GT-R model. In May 1984 the all new front wheel drive Carina is launched, slashing the SE and ST models from the rear wheel drive range. In July 1985 all SG and ST coupe models and GT, GT-R, GT-T, GT-TR sedan and coupe models cease to exists. In January 1988 the remaining sedan and coupe models are discontinued and finally, after 7 years of production, in April of 1988 also the Wagon/Surf and Van models stop production.

The Toyota Carina ST Surf ad campaign

The ad campaign of the third generation Toyota Carina was a prolongation of the previous generation. Just like with the first and second generation Kill Bill actor Sonny Chiba (千葉 真一) promoted the third generation as well alongside Kayoko Kishimoto (岸本加世子) as his female sidekick. Where the first generation got the focus on outpacing motorbike gangs, the second generation more on a sporty image which the third generation initially followed.


Quickly after a Toyota Carina AA60 won the 1981 Paris-Dakar two-wheel drive class, Toyota shifted the focus towards this amazing achievement by team ACP. At the same time Toyota had been preparing the new 4A-GE and 3T-GTE engines for the GT and GT-T respectively and shifted the focus once more towards the sportscar-sedan. This resulted in the hilarious puppy-saving Carina GT-TR commercial and a Sonny Chiba going sideways in a yellow Carina GT-R scaring off his female co-driver Kayoko Kishimoto.

Another hilarious ad was made for the Jeune model which featured driving aids for young mothers and executive daughters who just got hold of their driving licenses. As far as we could find there was only one commercial ad involving the Surf/wagon variants.
Toyota Carina ST Surf

The Toyota Carina ST Surf in popular media

As the Carina was mostly a more-sporty-bread-and-butter model it wasn’t a very popular car at launch time, but the plain Carina SG AA60 entering and winning the two wheel drive class in the Paris-Dakar rally for Team ACP made it a lot more attractive all of a sudden! It featured in many movies during the 1980s including Giwaku (1982) where a 18R-GEU powered GT coupe played a large role.

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

The Carina also made an appearance in the 1985 novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami where a Toyota Carina 1800 Twin Cam Turbo pops up as a high tech rental car playing a key role in the ending of the book.

After the 1980s it quickly departed from the streets in Japan and Europe where most European cars, due to it’s uncomplicated technology, were exported to African countries. During the early 1990s the upcoming drift culture makes the GT and GT-R models a favorable alternative to the AE86, but after the first few years it is soon forgotten. Then in the late 2000s the Carina is rediscovered to be a good alternative to the (more scarce) AE86 for drifting and many GT and GT-R models are drifted to oblivion on Japanese race tracks.

Hachimaru Hero: Toyota Carina 1800 GT-TR (TA63) – 3T-GTEU Engine by Wasabi Cars


The Nisota Cherrina certainly is a daring product by combining two cars from two different manufacturers. It really took guts from Nissan and Toyota to come to this consensus and that’s certainly something to be remembered for. It may not be 100% up to the tastes of typical buyers from Nissan or Toyota, but the car being sold under the brand could potentially attract new customers that they normally wouldn’t have had.


Keep in mind that this is an automatically generated artist impression what could be a possible mashup between the Nissan Cherry and the Toyota Carina. This is not meant to offend any person nor mock a specific car or car brand as all cars and car brands in our database are mashed up randomly. The gods of randomization feel that this was the proper hommage to both cars and highlighting their strong and weak points. In the end, just imagine this newly created car was a real thing and existed out of cost saving necessity. This isn’t the first time such a thing happened, hence we now have to live with the Toyoscionbaru BRZFR-SGT86 and soon with the ToyoBMW Z4Supra.

If you like this mashup and you want to spend some more time with it, you can play around with these before and after image sliders and do your own car mashup:

Also don’t forget to share this if you liked it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *