Z- car gets a mini-me
Nissan’s new compact turbo coupe targets the ToyotaSubaru sportsters — for $22K
Plans were revealed at last year’s Shanghai motor show in the form of the Compact Sports Concept. Conceived as a joint venture between Japan and China, it has since been shuffled around Nissan’sHQuntil ‘‘ it has finally been granted a go sign’’, as a source says.
‘‘ The Japan side held the R&D initiative from very early on,’’ he says, ‘‘ while the Chinese team worked on the design side and assembling relevant data.’’
The concept is fitted with the 148kW turbo from a Nissan Juke. The 1.6-litre was the base engine for the DeltaWing. The differences between last year’s concept and this latest scoop rendering show the styling has been moulded into a far more aggressive yet appealing silhouette. Carsguide also has just learned that a4WD version will join the initial front-wheel drive base model.
Our source suggests the success of the GT86 and BRZ has done nothing to hurt the research and development timetable of this new compact coupe. The two cars will no doubt be seen as rivals.
China is thought to be the car’s main market but Japan and some European countries will receive small numbers. The US is still being considered.
In terms of price, Carsguide expects Nissan to undercut its Toyota-Subaru rivals by as much as 10 per cent.
Another major difference will be design. The coupe follows in the Juke’s footsteps and employs some unique lines, departing from the conventional sports car proportions of the GT86/BRZ. The Nissan will be close in size to the Honda CR-Z hybrid.
A huge sales point for the new coupe will be its 4WD system, a miniature version of that used on the mighty GT-R. The Mini-Z gets the Juke’s allmode4WD i-system with torque vectoring.
The Nissan coupe’s engine falls short of the power figure of the Toyota/Subaru FA20 powerplant but it has a wider torque band for greater mid-totop end response.
Image: Holiday Auto magazine