Even though the Nissan IDx Concept received a strong positive reception, it won’t be coming to market, at least not in its original configuration.
Speaking with The Truth About Cars, Pierre Loing, Vice President of Product Planning for Nissan North America confirmed that a rear-wheel drive small sports car won’t be happening, as the cost to develop a new rear-wheel drive platform for one niche product is too high.
“Small, sporty cars are very attractive for consumers but not in huge numbers. To do them properly – in our case – you can’t rely on an existing rear-wheel drive platform, because its dimensions are for a much larger powertrain. So, for us, it would mean developing a different rear-wheel drive platform and then we are bumping into the same obstacles every other automaker has: the volumes of a small, sporty car are not enough to justify the investment,” said Loing.
But that doesn’t mean that the IDx is completely dead. The brand has a pool of sporty front-wheel drive cars to pull from thanks to its alliance with Renault, which builds the current fastest front-wheel drive car to lap the Nurburgring. “I think we may still have some room (to add a retro-inspired car). We have a wide lineup,” said Loing.
If the partnership is leveraged, don’t expect any Renault design to carry over to Nissan’s new car though, which will rely on the retro IDx for inspiration.
“It wouldn’t be the same design because, of course, the proportions are based on a rear-wheel drive platform,” said Loing. “But that kind of retro 510 inspired design was very well received in Japan and in the U.S. (when Nissan debuted in Tokyo and Detroit), and to some extent in Europe as well. So, yeah, that could be an option – among other ones, it could be an option.”
So, will Nissan actually go through with building a new small sports car? “You will have to come back in a few years to see if it has materialized or not. But, we do show cars to test reactions all the time, so those reactions are included in the debate on future global products. Sometimes they will be the deciding factor to go one way or another. Sometimes they won’t.”
[Source: The Truth About Cars]
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