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.
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.