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Nissan still weighing RWD compact sports car

by Ronan Glon

If launched, the coupe would be priced below the Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ.

Shooting down an earlier report, a Nissan executive has announced the automaker is still debating whether to green-light the retro-styled iDX concept that was presented at last year's edition of the Tokyo Motor Show.

"It is under preparation and development. [The project is] 50/50 until some milestone to decide ‘go!',” explained Keno Kato, Nissan's vice president of product planning, in an interview with Australian website CarAdvice.

Kato hinted the biggest point of debate currently surrounding the iDX is what platform it will be underpinned by. Nissan engineers adamantly believe the production version of the iDX needs to retain the concept's front-engined, rear-wheel drive layout, but they don't want to build the car on the 370Z's chassis.

Technical details are still vague because the project is at a very early stage of development. However, Kato revealed he would like to see the coupe powered by an evolution of the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that is found under the hood of the Juke and the Golf-fighting Pulsar hatchback. Ideally, the base iDX would be powered by a naturally-aspirated 1.6-liter and more expensive models would use a turbocharged version of the mill.

If built, the iDX will be priced below the Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ twins in order to appeal to an even younger target audience. Nissan explained the coupe was designed for the post-1990 "digital native" generation when it introduced the iDX NISMO and iDX Freeflow concepts in Tokyo late last year.

"I'd like to set a slightly lower price position, and I need to share, or need to utilize existing something,” summed up Kato.

The executive did not announce when Nissan will decide if it is moving ahead with the project.

Photos by Ben Hsu.

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