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Nissan design boss says no chance for Toyota 86 fighter

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If you were still holding out an iota of hope that Nissan could change its mind about producing a model like the exciting IDX Concept, we've got bad news for you. Shiro Nakamura, the Japanese brand's chief creative officer, told Auto Express there are no plans for an inexpensive, rear-wheel drive performance vehicle anytime soon. The niche product is just too expensive to develop.

"You need a proper platform because it has to be light and small and also affordable," he told Auto Express. "In reality that is not easy to find. It also has to be rear-wheel drive – if we make it front-wheel drive it would be cheating. It is expensive and we are struggling."

Nakamura's statements are the final nails in the coffin for Nissan's affordable sports coupe, but this was practically a foregone conclusion already. The company debuted the IDx in two forms at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, and they initially looked likely to hit the market. By mid 2014, Nissan started walking back those plans as part of a strategy to increase its volume. Later, an exec confirmed the project was dead, and Nakamura told Autoblog last year he thought the project was over, too.

If there's any good news for those wanting an exciting Nissan, Nakamura tells Auto Express that the Z car and GT-R remain safe in the lineup. The next-gen GT-R reportedly arrives in 2020 or later, and it might use hybrid power. There isn't a firm date for the future Z, but Nakamura wants to take cues from the original 240Z for the new model. They're both at least something to look forward to, if we can't get a Toyota 86 or Mazda MX-5 Miata challenger from the company.

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