According to company insiders with whom we've spoken, Nissan has been working on its own compact, rear-wheel-drive vehicle for over three years, and the announcement from Toyota and Subaru about their own RWD coupe has caused Nissan to ramp-up development.

Details on the new vehicle are still scarce, but BestCar is reporting that Nissan is planning to utilize a shortened version of the Z's FM platform powered by either a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter or possibly a 1.6- or 1.8-liter turbocharged four. According to the Japanese pub, the successor to the S15 Silvia will be approximately 4,350 mm long, 1,750 mm wide and share the same wheelbase as the Z. Like the Subaru/Toyota vehicle, Nissan is attempting to keep the curb weight low, along with the price.

While the NA 2.0-liter is one possible form of motivation, Nissan is supposedly working on a new, direct-injection four-cylinder that could make use of Nissan's Variable Compression Ratio (VCR) system. Partnered with a small, efficient turbo, power could range from 140 to 215 hp, returning the fuel-economy of a smaller NA mill.

The Subaru/Toyota coupe is expected to debut in 2011, but Nissan wants to beat its competitor's offering to market, so expect the return of the Silvia to bow in late 2010.

[Source: BestCar via]

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