Japan's top two auto makers have a long and sordid history of ripping off each other's successful designs. No sooner had the Nissan Cube become a run away success in its home market than Toyota came up with the similarly boxy bB (Scion xB). Many years earlier, after the Toyota HiLux Surf (4Runner) proved a hit with, well, surfers, Nissan restyled their Terrano with nigh on identical lines, hoping to ride on the coattails of the Toyota. And let's not get in to the Supra vs. Z and Celica vs. Skyline wars.

Now, just weeks after confirming that Toyota does indeed have a successor to the lauded AE86 in the pipeline, Best Car magazine claims to have evidence that Nissan has got a team working on building a new Silvia. Like the final 2002 S15 Spec R Silvia the new car is reckoned to be powered by a turbocharged two-liter good for 247 HP, but will just be 10 kgs heavier at one and a quarter metric tons (2450lbs).

The new range should sell for between 2.5 and 2.8 million Yen ($21,000 - $23,700), but not until 2010. Best Car's scoop ties in nicely with photographs of a shortened Z, most likely a mule testing a new, smaller FR drive train, taken at the ring earlier in the summer. If the new Silvia is indeed to be based on a modified Z/Skyline LM platform, expect a similar wheelbase of 8' 6", but smaller overall dimensions, around 14' 4" long by 5' 8" wide.

Chances of Nissan bringing a concept car, possibly derived from the URGE shown in Detroit last year, to October's Tokyo Motor Show? 60-percet according to the magazine.

[Source: Best Car]