The S10 was the first Silvia built on the S platform. It featured more "traditional" lines than similar offerings from rivals Toyota and Mazda and was summarily less popular with consumers in most markets. In Japan it was fitted with an L18 engine, which it shared with the Datsun 610/Bluebird 180B. In the North American market a version incorporating the larger-displacement L20B was offered as the 200B of the same series Bluebird. This model was affixed with the mandated 5mph (8.0km/h) bumpers and badged as the Datsun 200sx. Its success in both markets was limited, most buyers opting for the Celica over what was considered the more mundane S-Chassis.
This iteration of the Silvia (sold in North America as the Datsun 200SX and in Mexico as the Datsun Sakura), available as a 2-door hardtop coupe and a 3-door hatchback, was uniquely progressive in that it was originally intended to feature a rotary engine, designed and built by Nissan. The resulting unit was fairly unreliable, and forestalled production. Ironically, it shared a chassis code with the also ill-fated Mazda Cosmo, first Japanese production car to feature a rotary engine. The car was redesigned shortly after it was released and the Wankel power plant was replaced by a line of conventional piston engines based on the new Z-series engine. These included the Z20 and the turbocharged and fuel injected Z18ET. In USA/Canada the 200SX had the Z20E with H165 rear axle and from 1982-1983 It had a Z22E engine with H190 rear axle
This generation saw the introduction of the Silvia 240RS, a coupe fitted with the 2.4 liter DOHC FJ24 engine. The 240RS was built between 1983 and 1985, its production extending the end of the S110 itself. The resulting monster became Nissan's official rally car in the World Rally Championship from 1983 to 1985, and finished 2nd in the 1983 New Zealand Rally.
The S12 was produced from 1984 to 1988, with revisions to the exterior trim in '87 (referred to as "Mark II"). It was sold in two configurations -- a coupe (often called a "notchback") and a hatchback.