Z- car gets a mini-me

Nis­san’s new com­pact turbo coupe tar­gets the Toy­otaSubaru sport­sters — for $22K

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

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

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