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We've been obsessively following the developments surrounding Nissan's rumored re-entry into the compact, RWD market, and up until now, it's been assumed that a small-displacement engine would be mounted up front, possibly fitted with a turbocharger. But according to a report by Drive.com.au, Nissan is actively considering a hybrid drivetrain to power its Silvia replacement.

The Aussie automotive news outlet spoke with Junichi Endo, Nissan's senior vice president of global marketing, who said that the automaker is trying to strike a balance between "fuel economy and driving pleasure," and that a hybrid-powered sports car has a "50-50" shot at production. However, the fate of such a vehicle hinges on the hybrid sports coupe's marketability.

While the idea certainly isn't original – Toyota is considering a gasoline-electric hybrid sports car inspired by the FT-HS concept and Honda has confirmed that the hybrid CR-Z is on its way – the move by Nissan would be a significant departure for an automaker that's kept hybrids and hybrid development at arms length, save the Altima hybrid. Additionally, Nissan maintains that if such a vehicle gains the affection of consumers, an all-electric sports car is the next logical step.

[Source: Drive.com.au]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      how about a high strung turbo 4 with about 60-70hp of electric assist and about 300ft lbs of tq at 0-1500rpm

      this thing could really get off the line.

      the prius electric motor is rated at 67hp at 1200-1540rpm and 295 ft lbs at 0-1200rpm!

      bring it on nissan.
      who nows what Hondas CRZ has in store.
      • 6 Years Ago
      we dont ask much we just need a small RWD car thats it
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would rather see no hybrid in the name of weight savings. Maybe they should spend time putting the hybrid in the sentra and versa, you know for people that care a little more about mpg than the buyers of sporty cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why not just use the se-r 2.5 with 200hp. 0-60 is high 6's, plenty to start, and it revs to 7000.
        • 6 Years Ago
        How about that PLUS a hybrid drive train so that way it was even faster and returned like 40mpg city when you werent rev'ing it to 7k
          • 6 Years Ago
          Yeah, but I'd want it as cheap as possible and as light and simple as possible. A hybrid drivetrain would add 200-300 lbs and thousands to the price.
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Interesting move-strategy by Nissan…

      I think in today’s sports compact market, most consumers who purchase vehicles in this vehicle class are more performance oriented. (Weight savings and high performance.)

      Nissan Silvia’s has always been popular and a favorite among sport compacts-tuners.

      If fuel prices continue to rise significantly, I think some consumers will shift…to a more family-economical type vehicle.

      It would be nice to see a high performance-hybrid electric or all electric sports compact car. The technology is already here.

      If Nissan's engineers can design and develop a light weight subcompact sports vehicle that can be highly tune (engine and electronics) and still be able to attain reliable high performance output that would awesome. (very much like a classic watch design.)

      Fuels cell technology is cool however; these types of batteries are often very heavy and overheats.

      I'm sure Engineers spend a lot of time researching and tuning.

      Best regards and warm wishes to Nissan’s research and development team.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I just want a small RWD Nissan coupe! Come on Nissan, my 94 Sentra is gonna need replacement soon!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think it might be money and time better spent developing a direct injection turbo 4.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Boooo! Make it cheap and light instead!
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