Nissan has long discontinued the Silvia sports car range and never looked it back despite being popular among drifting fandom. Renault-Nissan has no plans to bring it back, despite high demand of GT-R and Toyota 86 among Japanese sports cars.
However, Renault has been doing their new Alpine A110 and have launched well, whereas Nissan has doing nothing with their Silvia range so far despite the concepts hinting at it. Well, Alpine A110 and Nissan Silvia were the icons for the basic compact sports cars in their respective nations, and they also did certain rallying competitions (yes, I meant the obscure BS110 240RS, more powerful yet more obscure than S15 Spec-R).
If Nissan might bring back Silvia nameplate, things might be different. Since Renault already has mid-engined A110, Nissan can easily borrow the platform to build a new Silvia, with 4-cylinder engine and rear-wheel-drive retained from the lineage. But the biggest change from the previous Silvia range being the mid-engined configuration, making it the another 2-seater Silvia in addition to the first Silvia to not have the engine in the front.
What if you have a mid-engined Silvia? Well, it might slot below the Fairlady Z/370Z (Z34), but will alter handling properties. Being mid-engined means having better central handling but sacrificies cornering balance in turn, especially when it comes to drifting, a trademark for (recent) Silvia chassis. Even though the donor A110 already has safety features which can help a future Silvia to handle the corners better, the mid-engined configuration in next Silvia might fire some agony on certain hardcore fans.
So if Nissan decided to make a mid-engined S16 Silvia instead of going front-engined to compete with Toyota 86, then they might reserve the trademark four-cylinder engine heritage thanks to Alpine A110. There were no sources confirming about next-generation Silvia, Nissan might go mid-engine configuration with that.
As for the mid-engined Silvia, there will be a naming system to go by. This Silvia will be the Silvia 300RS, a throwback to the Silvia 240RS, which had limited success in rallying and was even forgotten. However, the BS110 240RS had better power-to-weight ratio than S15 Spec-R which come with luxuries. Would it be, a throwback to other old Silvias such as 180SX should be also in the designs as well.
In performance, engine power would be in region of 300-horsepower no matter it’s a tuned-up version of Alpine A110 engine, or something like Mercedes-Benz-sourced turbo engines. And this will be paired with 7-speed dual-clutch, another departure from the old Silvia ranges (hope Nissan puts in 6-speed manual as well for cheaper models). As with the new Alpine A110, the S16 Nissan Silvia might have more luxuries packed compared to their granddaddies, so entry-level drivers might not notice. (I mean ABS and traction control among other things.)
This is what I predicted when Nissan decides to bring back Silvia for real in the future. Even though rhe Silvia was designed to be a pure sports car in mind, the mid-engined S16 Silvia might spark tons of debates in a neutral way at best. But it would also keep the Silvia distancing from Fairlady Z and GT-R which are front-engined machines (the GT-R was meant to be a grand tourer).
Stay tuned for the future updates! The Nissan Silvia might be back in the future even if it goes mid-engined.