As much as the press and public fell for the Nissan IDx concepts shown at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, a Nissan official has said plans for production versions in that form are so not happening.
Speaking to The Truth About Cars last week, Nissan’s American VP of Product Planning Pierre Loing said the project as a small, rear-wheel drive coupe won’t be moving forward to production.
It’s been a bad year for future small RWD coupes, as General Motors’ product head Mark Reuss confirmed the well-received Chevy Code 130R from 2012 is also dead, despite reports over the last few years that the company was trying to make it viable. But like GM, Nissan’s existing RWD platforms are niche sellers, Loing said.
“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.”
It’s not all bad news, however, given that there was high praise for the look of the IDx concepts. Loing hinted that aspects of the design could live on in future small Nissans. He seemed to be aware that there is nostalgia for models like the 510 and the company could pick some of those cues from the IDx up on a FWD-based car.
Which doesn’t sound that bad, given that Nissan actually had a good record for fun, FWD small cars in the ’80s and ’90s, with the Sentra SE-R and 200SX coupes, and I’ll even throw the NX2000 in there. Injecting even a Sentra sedan with some of the aesthetics from the IDx would do wonders for its desirability.
This is what we should be crossing our fingers for now.