Nissan has plans to launch its own small sports car that will rival the Mazda MX-5. Nissan’s newcomer will have a rear-wheel drive system and will be powered by the Leaf’s electric drivetrain. At one point, Nissan wanted to revive the legendary rear-wheel drive 200SX but that was put on the back burner in 2008.
However, the project has been resurrected, and it will be part of Nissan’s ambitious plan to launch 52 new cars by 2016. Before the SX was shelved, the plan was for the car to sit on the 370Z platform, and would share the turbocharged 1.6-liter Juke engine that produces 188-hp. However, plans have changed again, and the car will likely have an entirely different name, using an all-new chassis. Last March, Daimler signed and agreement with Nissan to supply mid-size platforms to the Japanese automaker. The platform can accommodate anything from a four-banger to a V8, but nothing has officially been announced as of yet.
This will not be the same project as the MX-5 rival, and Nissan has not made a decision on what will power the new sports car, but a tuned version of the Leaf’s drivetrain and a hybrid set-up are under consideration. The ESFLOW concept which debuted at the Geneva auto show in March, firmly secured Nissan’s interest in an all-electric rear-wheel drive sports car. Sources have also revealed that Lotus is on-board to ensure sharp handling, a nimble chasis and lightweight construction. The electric power sports car will likely arrive in 2013, and will cost around £20,000 ($32,500).
[Source: Auto Express]