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Enthusiasts around the world were excited when the small, rear-wheel drive Nissan IDx concepts made their debut at the 2013 Tokyo motor show, but its chances of entering production seem to be pretty much dead.

Pierre Loing, Nissan North America’s vice president in charge of product planning, spoke at length about the car’s prospects to The Truth About Cars.

He noted that it was “a show car that received good reception”, but the jump from being a concept car to a production vehicle is a huge one. One that currently looks insurmountable from Nissan’s position.

According to Loing, the main problem for Nissan is what platform any production version of the IDx would use.

Nissan IDx Freeflow rear

The company can’t shrink the 370Z‘s rear-wheel drive underpinnings to suit, “because its dimensions are for a much larger powertrain”. As it is, the company is unwilling to tamper too much with the Z-car formula as it’s profitable, with around 20 percent of the sales mix being high margin Nismo models.

So, as it stands, the company would need to develop a new smaller rear-wheel drive platform specifically for the IDx. Loing says, “Volumes of a small, sporty car are not enough to justify the investment”.

Nissan IDx Nismo

Loing did note that “[Nissan] may still have some room” for a retro-style vehicle, albeit based on a front-wheel drive platform. A FWD retro vehicle “wouldn’t be the same design”, though, as the IDx’s design is very rear-wheel drive specific.

As to whether the company is making such a car, Loing was a little more enigmatic. “You will have to come back in a few years to see if it has materialised or not,” Loing replied, laughing a little.

He continued that Nissan is constantly releasing concept cars to test public reaction, and that sometimes a positive response can sway the board to give the go-ahead, while at other times it doesn’t.

Source: The Truth About Cars




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