A production future for the sporty Nissan IDx concepts looks to have been written off once again, according to a new report out of the UK this week.
The Nissan IDx concepts caused quite a stir among enthusiasts when they made their debut at the 2013 Tokyo motor show, combining retro styling with rear-wheel-drive dynamics.
The ‘regular’ IDx Freeflow and its more sports-focused Nismo sibling introduced styling that paid tribute to the Datsun 1600 of the 1960s and 70s, and were seen as potential successors to the popular 200SX sports car.
Nissan appeared to have written off the production of a smaller sports car a year ago, however, saying that the need to develop an entirely new platform specific to the IDx would be too expensive to justify the investment.
Now, British website Auto Express reports that executives at the New York motor show said that plans for a smaller, third sports car to rival the popular Mazda MX-5 and Toyota 86 / Subaru BRZ have been shelved for the foreseeable future.
Instead, the Japanese car maker will focus on its GT-R flagship and Z sports car. The decision is understood to be based in part on the existing customer loyalty and brand heritage for those models.
Nissan’s senior vice president Shiro Nakamura said that the costs associated with developing a new platform for the smaller sports car – and the tighter margins associated with more affordable models – made the business case untenable.
“You need a proper platform because it has to be light and small and also affordable,” he said. “It also has to be rear-wheel drive.”
“It is expensive and we’re struggling [with making it work],” Nakamura told Auto Express.
He added, however, that should an opportunity for a cheaper platform arise, there could yet be an opportunity for the concepts to become a reality.
“If we can find a good solution to produce something more affordable and light, we can bring it back,” he said.
Don’t expect the platform of partner Renault’s new Alpine sports car to figure, though: “We are not a mid-engined car company – we don’t have the same heritage as Alpine,” Nakamura told Auto Express.