At the Tokyo Motor Show today, Nissan revealed the IDx Freeflow Concept, a car inspired by the legendary Datsun 510. Itís a love letter to the hard core Datsun devotee, or even newfound fans born decades after the original ceased production. Weíve known it was coming for a while now, and believe me, it was killing us not to share it with you, our dear readers, but we hope it was worth the wait. Now hereís the deets.
The front is dominated by a flat face, very unusual in the swoopy aero shapes of current designs. Four round headlights with a hood line dipping inward towards the grille are the signature design cue, and vents below the grille evoke the same element from the original 510. The chrome bumper is even reminiscent of a classic air dam.
From the rear, another vertical panel and tail lights with three distinct elements draw inspiration from the classic 510. Classic four-spoke wheels reminded us of so many vintage barrels from Work Equip 01s to SSR MkIIs to the American Racing Libres.
Though specs werenít revealed, our sources say that the IDX concept is powered by a 2.5-liter inline four, mounted longitudinally for an all-important RWD layout. On stage, it appeared about the same size as the neo-hachiroku Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ twins, and if produced it will go head-to-head against them in the marketplace.
Nissan then further surprised the audience with a race version, complete with livery paying homage to the BRE racers of the 1970s. Though he didnít appear on stage, Peter Brock was the special guest that we werenít at liberty to discuss earlier.
The front valance even has dual scoops evoking the BRE spook. Fender flares with bolt-holes and twin stripes complete the look. Even the mirrors look like classic 510 racing mirrors. The 80 racing number references Nissanís 80th anniversary.
If Toyota thinks it has an ace in its pocket with the classic AE 86 that led to the birth of the successful GT-86, Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ coupes, Nissan believes it has an entire deck of cards with the original predecessor of the famed GT-R, the first generation Skyline GT-R from the late 1960s, early 1970s.
While not mentioned in Nissan's press content, it's pretty clear that the Skyline GT-R was one of the main inspirations for a nostalgic pair of concepts for a small sports coupe series named IDx Freeflow and IDx NISMO, which made their world premiere today at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Looking at these pictures, other cars that may have influenced the design of the study could include the classic Datsun Bluebird 1600 SSS Coupe.
The Japanese automaker says that the main object of the two compact rear-wheel drive coupes is to show how Nissan and NISMO can create two very different models from the same vehicle.
If you ask us, we've already seen this concept with NISMO's first vehicles such as its interpretation of the GT-R that is also making its world premiere in Tokyo, so we're thinking Nissan may also be testing the waters for a compact sports coupe to go against the trio from Toyota, Scion and Subaru Ė if not in design, in spirit.
The back-to-basics IDx Freeflow is actually quite small measuring about 4.1 meters (161.4 inches) in length, 1.7 meters (66.9 inches) in width, and 1.3 meters (51.2 inches) in overall height. There's no power plant in the concept, but Nissan says it envisioned the car to be motivated "from a powertrain with a 1.2-to-1.5L gasoline engine mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT)". Agreed, that doesn't sound very GT-R, but let's not forget that the purpose of this concept is not to replace the GT-R.
The NISMO edition of the study is wider at 1.8 meters and gains a typical race inspired exterior and interior makeover, with bloated wheel arches, side exhausts, spoilers and lightweight 225/40 19-inch tires
As for the suggested powerplant, Nissan states: "To meet the high expectations for a powertrain equal to the task of propelling such a formidable car, one proposal from Nissan's engineers is the combination of a high-performance, eco-friendly 1.6L direct-injection turbocharged engine together with a sporty CVT with 6-speed manual shift mode and synchronized rev control."
I don't about you, but the idea of an affordable, back to basics RWD sports coupe in a compact package with a more distinct styling than the GT-86/FR-S/BRZ does sound tempting to our ears.
2010 LEXUS ISF / F Sport rear Sway Bar / Michelin PSS
The ISF......The perfect car for an enthusiast. It can be driven to the track, run hard all day , and then transport me hundreds of miles to my home in luxury and comfort to pick up the wife for dinner and a movie....