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Nissan Backs Away From Radical Looks of IDx

The Look People Loved? Gone. Nissan’s Coupe Goes in New Direction

Text By Peter Lyon

Revised Nissan IDx Details

  • IDx gets more aggressiona dn more muscular lines
  • IDx gets shorter wheelbase than the FR-S/BRZ
  • Production version rumored to be based on the same platform as the next generation Z
  • 2.0-liter non-turbo engine planned

On the stand at last year’s Tokyo motor show, Nissan product chief Andy Palmer was blowing raspberries at the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ twins, saying “buyers of these cars are having a mid-life crisis."

It takes a brave man to describe owners of Japan's hottest, most affordable sports car as "mid-life crisis" candidates.

What did he offer as an alternative? Nissan’s concept car, the compact, rear-wheel-drive IDx.

In a market where Generation Z is losing interest in cars and car culture, Nissan was trying to reignite some passion for motoring with the IDx sports coupes revealed at last October's Tokyo motor show.

“This is our answer to the mid-life crisis,” said Palmer.

Chief Designer Satoru Tai said the IDx was inspired by the Datsun 1600, Skyline, and Laurel from the 1960s and '70s. The automotive press loved the concept, which our own Jonny Lieberman was allowed to “drive” when the cars visited Motor Trend HQ.

Now, a source close to Nissan tells us that designers have taken another step in a different direction by adding more aggression and more muscular lines to the IDx concept, which actually has a shorter wheelbase than the FR-S/BRZ twins.

The image you see here is one artist’s impression of the revised IDx, based on information supplied by our insider. It takes the IDx in a whole new design direction, full of muscular surfaces and sharp edges. It’s decidedly less retro.

Sharing more in common with the Sports Sedan Concept, which was revealed at this year's Detroit show and previews Nissan's next Maxima, the revised IDx will shy away from Tai's original plan for the car to reach back into Nissan sports car and race heritage for inspiration.

We are also hearing that the production version of the IDx, which is a belated spiritual successor for Nissan's discontinued Silvia/200SX coupe, will be based on the same platform as the next-generation Z.

Nissan bosses are leaning away from the naturally aspirated 140-hp 1.6-liter engine in the IDx concept at Tokyo, and toward a gutsier 2.0-liter non-turbo unit generating upwards of 180 hp.

This makes sense because the IDx’s main rival will be the 200-hp Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ. So with a Z-based platform, a more adventurous exterior and a beefier engine, Toyota can expect a worthy rival for its 86 cult-car when the showroom-ready IDx hits the road in late 2017, even if it won’t provide the looks everyone fell in love with.

What do you think of the IDx’s new styling direction? Should the rear-drive coupe look like the rendering above?

Image Source: Holiday Auto Magazine

By Peter Lyon
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