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.