With the BRZ/FR-S selling like mad, it's no surprise other carmakers are looking jealously at the sales numbers. If rumors are to be believed, Nissan is no exception.

Motor Trend says it's been told Nissan is working on its own sports coupe to compete with Toyota and Subaru. It's not the first time we've heard such plans, though. Back in 2008, Nissan was reportedly working on a 240SX successor but as the economy started running out of gas, so did that project.

Nissan did, however, show off the Compact Sport Concept at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show pictured above. Looking very much Juke-like but a bit shorter, and, well, compact.

Coincidentally, rumors say the new plan is to use the Juke platform. Inside the company the project is being called the "Mini-Z," despite the fact it would almost certainly be front-wheel or all-wheel drive. That would help differentiate it from the BRZ/FR-S, but would certainly turn off those of us with sportier intentions.

Nissan's 190-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo was underhood in the concept, and if used in the production car, would have fewer horses but a wider torque band than its competitors from Toyota and Subaru.

Motor Trend says the U.S. probably wouldn't be the initial target market, but instead China, Japan and Europe would be first with American buyers still in consideration. The mag's source says the Mini-Z should be close in size to Honda's CR-Z and should start production sometime late next year. Check out Nissan's press release on the Compact Sport Concept below.
Show full PR text
The Compact Sport Concept, the first project jointly developed between Nissan Global Design Center in Japan and Nissan Deasign China is designed for young customers in emerging countries. The company aspires to turn this youth demographic, who appreciates a unique and active lifestyle as well as having an interest in motor sports, into Nissan fans. This concept vehicle will give such customers the excitement of a car from both driving and design perspectives.

The new concept car offers superior driving ease for the city. With an overall length of just 3,482mm, the new concept also has an overall width of 1,726mm and a height of just 1,444mm. The car has a low center of gravity and resembles the silhouette of a vibrant sports car.

While maintaining the attributes of Nissan models, the aerodynamic aspect of the new concept sports car is refined to be more dynamic, expressing power and solidity.

The interior has a dynamic and sporty feel with contrasting colors, sports shoe-like mesh cloth and satin silver parts. Also adopted are red lighting accents.

In addition to the sporty exterior styling, the car features a 1.6 liter 4-cylinder turbocharged direct-injection MR16DDT gasoline engine which provides a maximum power output of 140kW (190HP) and a maximum torque of 240Nm. Also available is the Xtronic CVT-M6, offering smooth and sporty driving with a 6-speed manual shift mode and synchronized rev control.

The Compact Sport Concept will provide a passionate driving experience to young customers and car fans through its dynamic exterior and interior designs and its uncompromising driving performance.


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  • 127 Comments
      Radioactive Flea
      • 2 Years Ago
      How is a FWD hatchback a rival to the BRZ?
      Donny Hoover
      • 2 Years Ago
      If it isn't RWD, it isn't going to compete with the Toyabaru. AWD is too much weight to keep it a featherweight and FWD would make it just one of many other upgraded economy cars already available that really don't compete. Nissan, make a real 240SX successor or don't even bother.
      Andrew
      • 2 Years Ago
      JESUS, try harder Nissan. A LOT... HARDER. Bring back the Silvia lineup and make it compete
      Ian Moore
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let them keep it if it's a FWD failwagon. I don't want a FWD Nissan Civic, but a RWD 160SX would have my attention.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      FWD .No thanks.
      ACURA23CL
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yea...FAIL! If it's not RWD it's automatically not a competitor. I don't know what Nissan is thinking. If they do lauch this, it had better be AWD to even be a blip on the radar....as a FWD offering will be forgotten about faster than the Scion tC when the FR-S hit dealerships.
      jamiescale
      • 2 Years Ago
      FWD, 190hp turbo compact.... Sounds more like a VW GTI rival rather than a BRZ rival
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jamiescale
        [blocked]
        ClementZ
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jamiescale
        The hatch shown in the article is Compact Sport Concept, not the Mini Z.
      ExplorerGuitar
      • 2 Years Ago
      If they truly think this is a legit competitor to the BRZ twins, they've missed the point of those cars entirely. Another somewhat compact, affordable RWD sports car would be awesome. This is just another sporty FWD hatch.
      Drivesolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm almost willing to bet that this is intentional mis-direction on the part of Nissan and/or Motor Trend. The article and press release does not source any person(s) or quotes from the company. It clearly does not make sense and few potential buyers in the market of a RWD sport coupe would cross-shop for a FWD coupe.
      jonnybimmer
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is it RWD? No? Then it's no FRS/BRZ rival. A tC rival, sure, but if the folks at Nissan are thinking a compact hatch is a better choice against the FRS than say reviving the Silvia, then they don't understand this segment, and no, AWD is not an acceptable substitute for someone who's seeking a RWD car.
      PatrickH
      • 2 Years Ago
      If this car is built and only comes equipped with FWD or AWD it is no competitor to the BRZ/FRS. It would just be a competitor to all the other cookie cutter FWD hot hatches out there. I'm not really seeing the point of this at all. A move like this seems uncharacteristic of Nissan, I wonder what gives.
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      >FR-S/BRZ rival >FWD No, just no. Stop right there criminal scum.
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