There's a strong desire among enthusiasts for more inexpensive, lightweight, fun-to-drive, rear-wheel-drive cars to exist in a world that contrasts sharply with automakers' desire to make money. While we all love the feeling of controlling the back end with the throttle, front-wheel drive is king when it comes to affordable cars. One of the future bright spots in the rear-drive market appeared to come from Nissan with its pair of IDx concepts. The two showcars from the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show took liberal design inspiration from the classic Datsun 510 and mixed it with modern powertrains in very attractive little packages. However, some pretty dark clouds are reportedly now hanging over the project.

Last we heard, a production version was supposedly "in the plan" from the Japanese automaker, but its trajectory may have changed inside the company in the last few months. According to Pierre Loing, vice president of product planning for Nissan Americas, the issue is making the sports coupe profitable. While Nissan has access to rear-wheel drive platforms, they are all meant for more premium vehicles (read: they cost too much). Assuming around 60,000 annual sales, Loing tells Ward's Auto that making a dedicated chassis for the IDx just isn't a moneymaker. If the car still does see production, it'll be after 2016, he says.

The decision whether to build the IDx has been teetering for a while. Nissan spokesperson Dan Bedore previously told Autoblog that the coupe would need a groundswell of support from consumers and enthusiasts if is to actually have a shot at production. If you are among the hopeful looking to see this affordable, rear-drive performance car in showrooms, get some friends together and start letting Nissan know that you actually want it – you can start here by adding a Comment and voting in our poll, because we're going to send the results on to Nissan.



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  • 68 Comments
      PatrickH
      • 5 Months Ago
      It's really quite simple. First you take the Z off of the (heavy and large) FM platform. Then you develop a new RWD chassis for both the IDX and the Z. Then bring the IDX to market under $25000, a weight the same or less than the Twins, and 220-230hp from a turbocharged 4 cylinder. Start the Z at $30000 with 300hp and a weight of around 3000lbs. Give the Nismo version of each car 40-50 more hp. Boom, done.
      sstowes
      • 5 Months Ago
      According to 2009gtr.com, Nissan sold 1236 R-35's in 2013 and according to Jalopnik, the last sales projection for the 2013 model year 370Z was 5,050 (based on the sales trend for the 2012 model year. Both models have future build commitments from Nissan. Mazda sold 5,780 2013 Miatas. Naturally, I'm skeptical on the low-volume argument. The problem has less to do with sales volume and more to do with the fact that Nissan uses dedicated platforms for both of its RWD flagship sports cars. The simplest solution would be to engineer the IDX and 370Z to use a common platform or common parts and then share that with Renault. Nissan could also leverage its relationship with Mercedes Benz by offering said platform for Mercedes to build a dedicated competitor to the 2-series coupe under the growing Z4.
        rsxvue
        • 5 Months Ago
        @sstowes
        I believe the GTR is the only dedicated platform Nissan has. The 370z is based on the Nissan FM platform which is also the basis of the older RWD Infiniti cars such as the G/M/FX. We haven't seen a new Q60 (I think is the G37 coupe replacement?) or a new Z, there's a possibility that these two along with the IDX could ride on the same platform...but then again the Z and G coupe have never been known for their lightness.
          carguy1701
          • 5 Months Ago
          @rsxvue
          The GT-R's PM (Premium Midship) platform is sired from the FM platform, so its not completely dedicated.
      Jaclock LaGlock
      • 5 Months Ago
      I would buy an IDx NISMO on day 1 if they were to produce it. I want to get a new vehicle but have been holding off plans to see where Nissan is going with this. I can wait another year or two but, after 2016 is crazy. I might have to turn my focus to the next generation Z car.
        Jaclock LaGlock
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Jaclock LaGlock
        Oh yeah, and I have to add, the IDx NISMO has to have a Manual Transmission. I'm a buyer only if it's a manual.
      waetherman
      • 5 Months Ago
      I think a "baby Z" would have some potential, but I think more importantly might just have a halo-effect of bringing more young folks in to the showroom. Nissan's lineup is pretty stodgy, especially at the lower end.
      PeterScott
      • 5 Months Ago
      The reality is that it is very hard to make a business cas for these kinds of cars. They sell in low volums and they cost more to build because they usually need a unique platform. I am on my second MX-5 (2007GT) so I really like light RWD cars, but each new on that enters the market has a bigger chance of being a money loser for the company that builds. Right now we mainly have two very good entries BRZ/FRS and MX-5. I read forums for both cars and every day there are constant refrains of: I can buy a faster/cheaper Fiesta ST, Mustang etc... I see very little chance that Nissan will be chasing the small money of building a Toybaru/MX-5 competitor.
        PatrickH
        • 5 Months Ago
        @PeterScott
        Well Toyota/Subaru screwed the Twins from the get go by giving it an "adequate" engine. Not powerful enough, doesn't sound good, and sadly isn't even that robust!
      jphyundai
      • 5 Months Ago
      The old 510 was a sales success because of all of the 510 sedans and station wagons that were also sold with the 2 door. Now most of the sedans and wagons have been used up and scrapped. Few people remember that there even was a 510 sedan and wagon. To make this a success would require a full line of product on the platform to include an Idx sedan and wagon. Otherwise the volume will not be enough and it will be a money loser. The market for a retro JDM coupe is limited at best.
      barkeep
      • 5 Months Ago
      Here's the thing. If they're doubting themselves to build the IDx, then why wasn't there any doubt when they built the Cube, or Murano CrossCabriolet? Two cars built for a niche market with polarizing designs. If Nissan can make those cars, then what's the problem? They've build RWD sports cars in the past, save the current FM platform that runs on the 370Z, and the Infiniti G/EX/M cars. If they can take their last true existing RWD sport compact platform, it being the S platform from the Nissan Silvia/200SX/240SX cars, and then improve upon that by making it a common RWD platform that is scalable, then we can see this IDx, the next Z, or Infiniti Q60 or Q70, etc. Build that IDx coupe so we can have a true successor to the 240SX, not the Altima coupe.
      PatrickH
      • 5 Months Ago
      It's really quite simple. First you take the Z off of the (heavy and large) FM platform. Then you develop a new RWD chassis for both the IDX and the Z. Then bring the IDX to market under $25000, a weight the same or less than the Twins, and 220-230hp from a turbocharged 4 cylinder. Start the Z at $30000 with 300hp and a weight of around 3000lbs. Give the Nismo version of each car 40-50 more hp. Boom, done.
      FRENZIED
      • 5 Months Ago
      I really like the concepts. I'd seriously consider this car, if it seats at least 4 and has no CVT.
      Azazel
      • 5 Months Ago
      If they decide to build it, I will be first in line. Seriously, if there is even the slightest sign this car will be built (ie. test mules spotted), I will hold off buying a car until this hits the market.
      lne937s
      • 5 Months Ago
      While I would love a car like this, I can understand how it is tough to make a business case. If you look at Subaru, the WRX is massively outselling the BRZ. The appeal of an affordable performance car with AWD, a back seat, etc. is a bit broader. And you can spread the platform cost over many vehicles. A WRX competitor, using existing FWD/AWD architecture, would be a lot easier for Nissan to build profitably. Raid some bits from the RenaultSport parts bin and NISMO parts bin, and they could put something together fairly quickly.
      BipDBo
      • 5 Months Ago
      I think to be successful, it would have to displace the 370Z.
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