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Nissan IDx gets green light

Sporty number: One version of these two slick Nissan IDx show cars will soon become a full-fledged road car.

Fans of Silvia and 200SX celebrate, as low-cost Nissan sports coupe is go


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15 Jan 2014

NISSAN has confirmed that the Tokyo motor show-starring IDx Concept will find its way to production sometime within the next two years.

Speaking to GoAuto at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, Nissan Motor Company executive vice president Andy Palmer said the rear-wheel drive 2+2 seater coupe would slot in well below the current 370Z sports car in terms of pricing, positioning and size.

However, he stopped short of revealing which drivetrain choices would be offered on the production version, while the name of the coupe remains a mystery.

Intriguingly, Mr Palmer made the distinction of singling out just one of the two IDx concept vehicles as a manufacturing certainty, as there are two versions of the show-car that originally debuted on the Nissan stand back in November.

“We’ve made a decision on one of those two,” he said.

“One of those two will go into what we call our ‘midterm plan’. Now whether we do both remains to be seen. I am not saying that we won’t do both, but we definitely will do one of them.

“I’d sit in somewhere … where 200SX/Silvia used to sit.”

As first shown in Tokyo, both IDx concepts were featured side-by-side in Detroit.

The first, dubbed the IDx Freeflow, is a more accessible and eco-minded version that is designed to use a choice engines from the 1.2-litre to 1.5-litre bracket, as well as a CVT continuously variable transmission.

Next to it was essentially the same vehicle but with Nismo – as in Nissan’s Motorsport arm – enhancements and badging. It included a significantly more aggressive look with racing-inspired paintwork, bulging wheelarches and a larger wheel and tyre package. It features a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine driving the rear wheels via a CVT with paddle-shifts.

The IDx Freeflow is described as “a casual/lifestyle-focused vision” while the IDx Nismo is “an ultra-sporty model of the future that looks as if it came directly from a driving simulator.”

Hinting at the development of some sort of Datsun Silvia/200SX successor some months before the IDX Concept debuted in Japan late last year, Mr Palmer said Nissan was keen to create cars “for Gen Xs and Gen Ys.”

The veteran engineer added that the production cars would not stray too far from the show cars.

“Yes, I mean they do resemble obviously a [Datsun] 510, that wasn’t deliberate at the outset,” he said.

“We went into a collaborative process to see what youth would like in a car, and that collaboration with about 100 individuals took us to the 510 retro look. So obviously if that’s where the product planning process has taken us, the execution won’t be too far away from what that looks like.”

Nissan’s announcement may have been timed to coincide with Kia’s unveiling of its answer to the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ twins (that the IDx Concept is clearly meant to compete against) – the show-stealing Kia GT4 Stinger Concept.

Although the South Korean turbo rear-drive sports coupe is still officially a design study for now, Kia president Peter Schreyer was vocal in his desire to see it in production in the near future.

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