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SOURCE: 7tune.com

Nissan to take on the Toyota/Subaru alliance with a sub-2.0L sports coupe… and arrive sooner.

Last year we reported on the existence of a Toyota/Subaru lightweight sports car which was music to the ears of AE86 or ‘Hachi Roku’ fans around the world who have been eagerly awaiting a successor to their much loved and much respected small car. Well Nissan isn’t going to let such a move by Toyota go unanswered with the news that there is a test mule undergoing trials at the moment based on the new Z-car platform with a 2.0L NA, or possibly a 1.6 - 1.8L turbo engine.

Initial reports stated that the Toyota/Subaru FR sports car would enter the market in early 2010, but that has since been put back to 2011. The biggest news is that Nissan are aiming to beat Toyota and bring their new FR sports competitor to market in the ‘latter half’ of 2010. Nissan have acknowledged the lack of an entry level sports car to appeal to younger buyers and this new FR based coupe is being designed with “enjoyable handling” in mind to keep them from turning to other manufacturers. The size of the car closely resembles the previous S15 Silvia, the new FR coupe’s dimensions being 4350mm in length, 1750mm in width and with a wheelbase identical to the the new Fairlady/350 Z platform of 2550mm. As with the Toyota/Subaru sports car, the new Nissan compact FR sports coupe will attempt to keep weight at a minimum, although the extent of which is unknown at present.
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We've been reading for sometime now that others would jump into this market.

Mazda is supposedly working on an entry-level RWD compact for the masses for awhile now that may be loosely based on the next MX-5.

Dodge played with this idea with the Razor and Demon concepts for awhile (both of which looked good at the time and would have made excellent/cheap RWD offerings for the masses).

We've heard about Toyota/Subaru - and got confirmation.

GM already kinda plays in this market with the Kappa twins - but no doubt that something further is needed.

And, after years of rumblings from Nisasn, we get this news.

As gasoline prices rise, it will truly be a market to watch.

But consider that this information from Nissan only confirms the rumors we've been reading about for sometime about Infiniti.

Infiniti for the last few years has said they felt as though they have lost their "entry-level" position since the old G20 died. The new G35 is vastly superior - but considerly larger and more expensive.

Immediately, rumors came that they were working on a "C25" replacement - a smaller priced produce using the Sentra platform (Just as the G20 did) but with the high-HP Sentra SE-R/SE-R Spec V engine as a starting point.

However, some (especially in Europe, as the brand is launched there) were worried of going back to a FWD product when the whole lineup switched to RWD.

Could this new platform be the "answer" to that problem? Could this product fill the hole in the lineup while bringing "affordable" RWD offering to the Infiniti lineup?
 

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Could this new platform be the "answer" to that problem? Could this product fill the hole in the lineup while bringing "affordable" RWD offering to the Infiniti lineup?
I don't think this will be a cheap RWD Infiniti as much as it will be a low-priced entry level sportster to compete at the Mustang/Challenger/Camaro/Genesis end of the spectrum.....

There is next to no competition in the luxury segment as far as cheap RWD is concerned.......the only competition one could dig up is the 1-series from BMW and even then, that's not exactly 'cheap'.......

Either way, I think the Asians' decisions to jump into the sporty, affordable RWD market will provide just the justification the Big 3 needs to keep on going & improving their own RWD products.
 

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What I don't understand, is that if Nissan can have the 350Z, the upcoming GT-R and now this new sports car and Mazda has the MX-5 and RX-8, why can't Pontiac have the Solstice and a smaller hardtop sports car? As the price of gas rises, the need for these smaller sports cars are going to grow. They could keep the Camaro the size it is and have Pontiac offer, lets say, the Firebird on the Alpha platform. I think it would do great as a smaller car and it doesn't need a V8 to be fast. A G8 coupe, or GTO, would be a good fit in the brand as well.
 

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Kappa coupe? a small 2+2 on Kappa would be pretty cool, wonder if it's possible? a little bit of a stretch would definitely be needed, but it would make a really awesome G5.
 

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But consider that this information from Nissan only confirms the rumors we've been reading about for sometime about Infiniti.

Infiniti for the last few years has said they felt as though they have lost their "entry-level" position since the old G20 died. The new G35 is vastly superior - but considerly larger and more expensive.
Personally, I think dumping the G20 helped Infiniti's image. To reintroduce it would be stupid... In the same way I think the RSX is hurting Acura, as that thing should be a Honda Prelude or something.

Also, if they offer a "G25", it would not be a 4 cylinder. The Skyline 250GT in Japan uses a 2.5 Litre V6. Similar to how the Lexus IS250 also uses a small displacement V6.
 

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What I don't understand, is that if Nissan can have the 350Z, the upcoming GT-R and now this new sports car and Mazda has the MX-5 and RX-8, why can't Pontiac have the Solstice and a smaller hardtop sports car?
Because the Kappa platform was engineered to be a convertible, so it would cost too much to redesign it into true hardtop coupe... GM engineers say.

Mazda can just design a cheaper, non-rotary, 2+2 RWD compact car based on the FE (RX-8's) platform. Something with a 2.5L i4 or a turbo 2.3L i4 would suffice nicely.

I don't know what's stopping Mazda from building what is essentially a non-rotary RX. It's not like the RX-8 is flying off the lots.
 

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^^^but the Solstice is on it's way as a hardtop coupe. If they make another version of this car, I'd like to see the Chevy Nomad return as a 4 seat hardtop hatch....no convertible.


No better time than now to start tweaking the Solstice/Sky before the Alpha comes out.

A new gearbox and some minor changes would go a long way, especially since most of these are selling at the higher price level of the Red Line and GXP models.

GM should be doing that already to every car.
 

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^^^but the Solstice is on it's way as a hardtop coupe. If they make another version of this car, I'd like to see the Chevy Nomad return as a 4 seat hardtop hatch....no convertible.
The Solstice Coupe was what I was implicitly referring.

GM engineers said it would have cost too much money to make the Solstice Coupe into a true coupe with a fixed hardtop, so they took the half-assed way out by making it into a coupe with a removable targa top.

The engineers even said they really wanted the Solstice Coupe to be a fixed hardtop coupe... but the engineering and budget issues were too great to overcome.

I would probably guess that a hardtop hatchback like the Nomad wouldn't be feasible at this point.
 

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Helloooo Dodge Demon?
looks like the great minds meet, I taught of the same thing, Chrysler could step on it via the side door by using the upcoming RWD Nissan platform. Besides the Demon roadster, there might be a place for another model like a coupe

Come to think of it, does the future Nissan platform will be also conceived for offering sedans and even station-wagons as well? A "poor's man BMW" niche market could be more bigger then we taught.
 

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A new 510 would be just what the Dr ordered. BMW missed the boat with the 1 series IMHO (too heavy, too expensive). Gimme a sub $20K, Sub 2600lb rwd coupe with a boxy little body and I might be tempted to forget about the new camaro.
 

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A new 510 would be just what the Dr ordered. BMW missed the boat with the 1 series IMHO (too heavy, too expensive). Gimme a sub $20K, Sub 2600lb rwd coupe with a boxy little body and I might be tempted to forget about the new camaro.
I've actually suggested in some threads that Scion should sell a Datsun 510 type sedan.

A boxy RWD compact like the 510 and the E30? Hawt.

That would put Scion on the map... again.
 

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YEEEEESSSSS!! FINALLY!! why is it the foriegn car makers understand the need for a pure, RWD, cheap, sports coupe yet in the states, ANYTHING with a performance intent has gotta be expensive, and laden with stupid luxo options. go ahead Nissan, Toyota, And Mazda, show GM how to do it...again.

and don't point to the kappas, or the mustang. the kappas priority is profiling and styling first, driving dynamics/performance 2nd. and moddability? non existent...unless u wanna drop a v8 in it (expensive). and the only mustang that's young person affordable is a poser v6. and we know NOBODY is thinking performance when they buy one of those.
 

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I've actually suggested in some threads that Scion should sell a Datsun 510 type sedan.

A boxy RWD compact like the 510 and the E30? Hawt.

That would put Scion on the map... again.
you are reading my mind...or maybe a RX3 throw back....just keep em affordable. i had big hopes for the BMW 135 till i saw the price tag at the dealer...35+CHANGE!!! i'll pass! untill they get used....
 

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Kappa coupe? a small 2+2 on Kappa would be pretty cool, wonder if it's possible? a little bit of a stretch would definitely be needed, but it would make a really awesome G5.
We'll have to wait for "Alpha". Kappa can't feasibly be stretched into a 2+2, although the Nomad concept was built on it. It wasn't a running prototype either...

But I too would love a small Corolla/Cobalt-sized rear-driver.

I'm one that wishes the "Datsun" brand would be revived. Throw in some funky JDM models like the Cube, along with a revived "510" and a small RWD 200SX replacement. Throw in a compact pickup — maybe something like GM's Brazilian Montana? — and hey presto! you've got the perfect "youth" brand! I for one find the Nissan brand has been dragged through the mud with dull Sentras, stylish but cheap and nasty Altimas, and problem-plagued Titans. There are still some desirable Nissans, Z, Pathfinder, Murano, but overall Nissan has become an ordinary run-of-the-mill brand, and like nearly every other manufacturer, chasing the 40something baby-boomer dollar.

A revived Datsun would appeal to young buyers through its product line, and still snag the nostalgia-driven baby-boomer, who fondly remembers how that rear end of his old 510 from his college days.

The Datsun 510 (or Datsun 1600 SSS as it was known in South Africa) was probably the best car ever to come out of Japan, and one of the best small family cars ever made! Cheap 'n' cheerful, those twin SU carbs gave it some snap, and simply couldn't break the rear end, no matter how hard you flung it! It put some respectable machinery like Alfas to shame and simply had BMWs of that era for lunch! And it was dirt cheap and sipped fuel like the Church Lady with sacramental wine.

I love my BMW, but I'm dead sick of it being the only company that builds this sort of car. And they're too expensive now. We've all hoped GM would turn Pontiac into a cheap RWD sporty brand, but GM fans will kill that plan, as GM would give us big fat bloated Woodward cruisers (albeit RWD). And since Pontiac's mere existence is in question...

That's why Ghosn and his boys need to step up to the plate and bring Datsun back! Or am I the only one out there who'd sign that cheque for a cheap, fun, RWD white-knuckled daily driver?
 

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hey, i just remembered that Hyundai will be in this market too! hopefully they will bump up the pwr in that 2.o turbo to 250 or so...these days 210-220hp is pathetic...and not even worth mentioning. especially in a sports coupe
 

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That's why Ghosn and his boys need to step up to the plate and bring Datsun back! Or am I the only one out there who'd sign that cheque for a cheap, fun, RWD white-knuckled daily driver?
if there were a RWD Mazda3 type car (stylish yet capable 5-door hatch) i'd totally buy it. no questions, it would be at the top of my shopping list....
 

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A new 510 would be just what the Dr ordered. BMW missed the boat with the 1 series IMHO (too heavy, too expensive). Gimme a sub $20K, Sub 2600lb rwd coupe with a boxy little body and I might be tempted to forget about the new camaro.
You nailed it. I'd love a small inexpensive RWD economy car with sporty handling.
 
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