Knowing full well what Toyota and Subaru have in the GT 86 and the BRZ , respectively, Nissan is determined to show the world that it can also produce a modern-day sports car based on one of its own iconic models.
The company will tell you that the creation of the IDx Nismo and the IDx Freeflow was a result of its intention to create two very distinct models from the same vehicle. But don’t let that be the only reason, as it’s pretty evident that these two concepts are also being released as a response to the popular Toyota and Subaru sports coupes .
Nissan came up with the "IDx" tag in part to show how its ideals are reflected in the personality of the concepts, hence the ID acronym signifying "identification". For its own part, the "x" represents the variable and "values and dreams born through communication."
The result, as you can see, is a pretty wicked looking sports car that has traces of the Datsun 510 and the old Nissan Skyline, the godfather — so to speak — of the current GT-R supercar. Specifically, the IDx Nismo bears the racing dynamics of Nissan’s aftermarket division.
Certain elements of the IDx Nismo, specifically Nissan’s basic box-shaped racing vehicles of the past, were combined with more modern details, including a reverse-slanted nose that features a uniquely shaped front end with sharp corners, modern LED headlights, a pronounced grille and a front bumper that, quite frankly, looks like a singular panel resembling a tongue. Really, look at it and tell us it’s not sticking its tongue out at you.
Evidently, that’s a cool new look for a concept like this.
But that’s not all; the IDx Nismo also comes with a glass roof, an eye-catching three-color finish made up of a predominantly white body with black and red racing accents, including a number "80" livery that has some significance to it that only Nissan can tell us.
Aerodynamic features, specifically the abundance of aero spoilers and a new set of 19-inch lightweight rims and tires, round out the exterior packaging of what can be best described as a rather unique-looking concept.
The interior of the IDx Nismo is what you’d expect from a concept vehicle with a racing spirit to it. There are no futuristic holograms of any sort; just a racing-inspired cabin with crimson Alcantara seats, Spartan-looking meters and gauges, and metal surfaces that serve as nice contrasts to a bright-red suede trim with matching blue stitching.
The red Alcantara looks really gaudy, but hey, its consistent with the overall treatment, which really is all you can ask for, right?
Nissan didn’t announce performance numbers for the IDx Nismo, opting only to say that the concept will carry a 1.6-liter direct-injection turbocharged engine that’s mated to a CVT with a six-speed manual-shift mode and synchronized rev control.
We can toss out a guess that it has around 200 horsepower and somewhere close to 160 pound-feet of torque, good enough to hit 60 mph in seven seconds, or so, to go with a top speed of around 130 mph. This would put it about on par with the BRZ and GT 86.
It’s a concept so no prices are going to be announced now or anytime soon.
It’s pretty obvious that the Nissan IDx Nismo was created as Nissan’s reply to the Toyota GT 86 and the Subaru BRZ, hence both sports car’s designation as a direct rival to this concept.
The GT 86 made its world debut at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, after two concept versions were unveiled in the years before. The sports coupe was developed in cooperation with Subaru and the two developed an all-new platform for it. On the U.S. market the model is sold as the Scion FR-S.
The GT-86 is powered by a 2.0-liter, naturally-aspirated, flat-four engine that delivers a total of 200 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and maximum torque of 151 pound-feet at 6,600 rpm. This engine is mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission and sprints the car from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds (manual transmission) and up to a top speed of 140 mph.
Gallery Toyota GT 86
The standard BRZ was unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show and Subaru put it on sale in early 2012.
The BRZ is powered by a 2.0-liter, horizontally-opposed, boxer engine equipped with Toyota’s direct injection and port injection technology, which helps it deliver a total of 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet torque. The engine is mated to either a standard six-speed manual transmission with a short-shift lever or with an optional six-speed automatic tranny that has an "S mode" for better shifting response and an "M mode" for optional shifting.
In the U.S. market, the model is priced from $25,495.
Gallery Subaru BRZ
We quite frankly have mixed emotions about the Nissan IDx Nismo. On one hand, we appreciate the inspiration and the desire to build a concept that’s worthy of Nissan’s reputation as one of the best in the sports car realm. On the other hand, it looks really weird. Almost like a Datsun 510 and a box Skyline meet the future...
- We appreciate the Skyline inspiration
- The interior is no-nonsense
- Finally, Nissan answers Toyota
- No powertrain information
- It still looks weird
- No production plans...yet
Gallery Nissan IDx Nismo
Today Nissan unveiled a pair of concept cars with radically different characteristics, created by a new approach to product development, that together offer a new take on authenticity.
The IDx concepts on the Nissan stand at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show are case studies. The first is a casual/lifestyle-focused vision, the IDx Freeflow. The second is IDx NISMO, an ultra-sporty model of the future that looks as if it came directly from a driving simulator.
IDx NISMO and IDx Freeflow show how Nissan is using a new and innovative product development methods to meet the needs of younger customers who have novel, exciting ideas, and engage with them to build the cars they want.
The co-creation product development approach requires input from consumers. It was designed to appeal to “digital natives," the generation born after 1990, and integrates their feedback into the creation process. Nissan thinks this approach could have real applications in the near future.
This co-creation activity led to the development of the two IDx concepts cars, each with their own unique identity, yet aligning with the values and preferences and desire for authenticity, of the mainly digital native collaborative community that helped create them.
IDx: A fresh start
Co-creation defines a new relationship between Nissan and its customers. The prefix Nissan gave to the two new concepts, “IDx," reflects those ideals. “ID" is the acronym taken from “identification", relating to the things all individuals relate to on a personal level in a car, and the “x," which is the variable representing the new values and dreams born through communication.
Engaging with members of the digital native generation created an opportunity to learn a slew of new insights and creative possibilities. The co-creation dialogue reached far and wide, from the basic framework of cars to the last details and finishing touches.
The final versions of the two concept cars were born from the engagement with separate co-creation communities. Each one has its own strong character and leaves a vastly different impression.
The design of the two IDx concepts incorporates digital natives’ direct expression of the ideal form of ultimate simplicity in a compact sedan. It was as if they were given a clean, white canvas to freely conceptualize anything that was intriguing.
What Nissan derived from this communication was their desire for a basic, authentic configuration for a car. A car without legacy influences, based on the ideal proportions and straight stance of a simple three-box shaped car design. Thus, the IDx concepts share the same three-box genesis, i.e. vehicles made up of three compartments: engine, passenger and cargo areas.
Nissan designers infused the idea of an “authentic car configuration" into their thinking behind this starting point in the form of a “flexible box."
Several unique approaches were made from a structural standpoint so the IDx concepts could take on various appearances. For example, the front/rear fenders and side structure, such as the door panels, seem to sandwich the cabin to focus attention on the center of the vehicle.
This structure allows the car to differentiate itself from others through the side and front face, with vast freedom for customization. The parting lines (panel partitions) clearly separate the sides and top, and enhance visual clarity while creating a unique and crisp boxed form. Additionally, viewed from the front and rear, the car retains its compact lines while maintaining low and wide body proportions, thereby instilling a sense of it being a “real" car.
Both the interior and exterior share the aim of a simple design, with just the right amount of functions and accessories that are standard on cars to provide a solid sense of build reliability.
In order to have enough flexibility consistent with the creativity inherent to the IDx approach some areas of the interior incorporate a dual-layered “tight-fit skin." For example, the dashboard is simple yet refined, created by employing cast molding in parts in the body structure and on the ventilation ducts. By combining this with sparingly used, close-fitting trim, the dashboard can be a foundation for various expressions and functions.
Similarly, the gauges, center consoles, and floor consoles were crafted to enable any necessary parts to be installed in an easy and seamless way.
The IDx concepts’ interiors are ultimately the expression of digital natives’ values in a flexible form that is malleable enough to project an exquisite structure while rendering a unique space inside.
Many of the group of co-creators who were involved with IDx NISMO are people who grew up playing racing simulation games that feature cars of the past and from all corners of the globe. They had a natural desire to realize that virtual driving experience in a real car of their own.
Not limited to being inspired just by racing cars, IDx NISMO was born from a refined combination of the freedom to borrow liberally from memorable vehicles of yesteryear and the present, in addition to whatever was felt exudes “cool."
The IDx NISMO’s co-creation dialogue took the distilled heritage of Nissan’s basic box-shaped racing vehicles of the past and married it with various intriguing new details. This resulted in a car that appears to be timeless and moored in a place all its own.
Though IDx NISMO shares the overall length and height of its Freeflow cousin, the 1.8 meter width of the car is testament to its low, wide stance that emphasizes its sporty proportions.
One of the hallmarks of box-type racecars is speediness conveyed by a reverse-slanted nose. On IDx NISMO, this frontal design element is embellished by an aura of seriousness communicated by the use of carbon panels. Side mufflers provide a pleasing exhaust note. The car also has contemporary touches such as front/rear and right/left aerodynamic spoilers and lightweight 225/40 19-inch tires.
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. The result is no less than an appealing mix of racing heritage with the finest of modern know-how.
Scanning the interior reveals racing-inspired crimson alcantra seat covers that entice the eyes, complemented by Spartan-looking meters and gauges that animate the race-car ambience. The lustrous metal surfaces contrast nicely with the bright red suede trim that is augmented by blue stitching.
This machine’s soul-stirring design echoes the racing car imagery of the past united with the buzz digital natives get from the virtual world they know well.
That this car could result from co-creation dialogue alone exemplifies Nissan’s fresh approach to contemplating car design, and even kindles a fire in the hearts of people fond of the good old days of high-performance cars.