2014 Nissan IDx Freeflow

Retro cars have become a fad these days and automakers, like Nissan , have taken that to a whole new level by integrating all the elements we love about those classic cars into a modern-day concept .

The result of this adventurous project is the IDx Freeflow, which adheres to what the company describes as its three-box genesis: engine, passenger, and cargo areas.

Nissan says that there are no heritage influences on the IDx Freeflow, but somehow we can’t shake the feeling that the concept carries a styling homage to the first line of Skyline GT-Rs and Datsun 510 the company produced years ago.

Still, you have to appreciate how Nissan managed to give the IDx Freeflow an identity all its own. It is born out of a desire to create a vehicle that has a simple design with just the right amount of functions and accessories that are standard on cars to provide its own unique sense of build functionality and aesthetic specialty.

That’s probably one of the best ways to describe the Nissan IDx Freeflow because it really is a car that’s special in its own way.

Click past the jump to read about the Nissan IDx Freeflow

Exterior

Nissan IDx Freeflow
Nissan IDx Freeflow
Nissan IDx Freeflow

The IDx Freeflow was created to highlight how even simple and clean with splashes of retro-ness can be translated into an actual sports concept that people will be thrilled to drive as their everyday vehicle.

The concept itself is pretty compact, measuring only 4.1 meters (161.4 inches) in length, 1.7 meters (66.9 inches) in width, and 1.3 meters (51.2 inches) in overall height. But while it might lack in overall girth, the IDx Freeflow does boast of a retro-inspired design that really does make it stand out from what you’d normally be accustomed to from a concept sports car.

The front end, on its own, speaks to the level of authenticity that Nissan put into its design of the concept. Overall, it’s pretty simple, but the round headlights offer a distinctive look to the front end. A simple, no-frills grille connects the headlights while the inverted bumper gives the concept a muscular look that blends well with boxed body of the vehicle.

The IDx Freeflow also has a "floating roof" with a seamless rounded shape, a simple design twist that not all concepts will look good having but somehow this one does in spades.

Rounding out the exterior features of the IDx Freeflow is a body color that combines white and flax, a color Nissan describes as a light brown shade. The color choice wasn’t done by accident, rather as an intentional play on a white T-shirt with khaki chinos, highlighted with the silver trim that represents a belt. You really can’t make this stuff up.

Headlight Detail

Nissan IDx Freeflow

Taillight Detail

Nissan IDx Freeflow

Interior

Nissan IDx Freeflow

There really is something about minimalistic designs that capture our attention more than those sophisticated and futuristic stylings of concept vehicle. Nissan opted for the former with the IDx Freeflow, and the final product seems to be right in line with the overall character of the concept sports coupe.

The cabin is fashionably functional, which is probably the best description you can give it. The denim material used to cover the seats and a number of trim areas is definitely unique, if not a little odd. Then again, it stands out so Nissan probably has no regrets about it.

Also, the denim somehow meshes in well with the sleek and classic-looking design of the dashboard and the center console. There’s a modern looking speedometer, but for the most part, it’s a classically-inspired cabin that’s highlighted by a no-nonsense steering wheel, a smooth dashboard, and an analog clock that’s prominently located above the centered function monitors.

Gear Shifter Detail

Nissan IDx Freeflow

Speedometer Detail

Nissan IDx Freeflow

Drivetrain

Nissan IDx Freeflow

No performance details were given on the powertrain, but what we do know is that the IDx Freeflow will be powered by anywhere between a 1.2-liter to 1.5-liter gas engine that’s mated to a continuously variable transmission.

We think that the IDx Freeflow won’t be as powerful as the IDx Nismo, hence the predicted 150-horsepower and 110 pound-feet of torque figures. Put performance numbers and we think the concept can hit 0-60 mph in 9 seconds to go with a top speed of 110 mph.

Pricing

Nissan IDx Freeflow

The IDx Freeflow is still a concept so don’t expect Nissan to release pricing details anytime soon.

Competition

2013 Toyota GT 86

Toyota GT 86

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 will be 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 and up to a top speed of 140 mph.

2014 Subaru BRZ

Subaru BRZ

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. It delivers 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.

Conclusion

Nissan IDx Freeflow

Believe it or not, we actually like the exterior look of the IDx Freeflow, specifically on how it somehow managed to make a modern iteration of the classic Skyline, while not losing its own concept identity. The round, bulging headlights are definitely one of the most distinctive looks of the exterior and fits perfectly well with the simple and denimed-out interior.

We would’ve wanted the car to carry a bigger engine, but ultimately, that’s Nissan’s call.

LOVE IT
  • Retro look is very relaxing and inspiring
  • Clean interior
  • It’s a really different take, which makes it stand out
LEAVE IT
  • Small engine
  • No production date

Press Release

Nissan IDx Freeflow

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

Nissan IDx Freeflow

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.

IDx Freeflow

Nissan IDx Freeflow

The IDx Freeflow reflects the sensibilities of its co-creators – the outlook of people who seek natural and tasteful things in every aspect of their daily lives.

They sought to employ a simple and clean attitude, using the authentic items that they favor to artfully combine various things and give substance to their self-expression.

The interior details of this four-passenger concept car are a carefully selected mix of fashionable functionality and comfort in a design brimming with creative originality. It is meant to feel like a living room inside a car where the owner and his or her friends can relax.

The round, no-nonsense steering wheel, attached to the level dashboard, mounts a modern-looking speedometer that would not seem out of place in a younger person’s lounge. Together with an analog clock, prominently located above the centered function monitors, the cumulative effect is an interior that feels heavily influenced by the wish for a cozy, relaxing space.

Additionally, the coordination of finished metals with the thick surfacing material on the dashboard and console, combined with the denim selected to cover the seats and certain trim areas, produces sections that dazzle the eye but are balanced by more calming hues in other spots. This is the unique quality of the co-creators’ taste as expressed in the cabin appointments.

In particular, the moderately faded texture and color of the denim used in the interior conveys a new kind of quality, a back-to-basics charm seldom seen in cars until now.

Though compact in size – about 4.1 meters in length, 1.7 meters in width, and 1.3 meters in overall height – the IDx Freeflow impresses with its daring yet dignified exterior.

The car’s “floating roof," a seamless rounded roof shape, is another design twist that accentuates the simple box form of the body.

The exterior color is a sophisticated combination of white and flax (a light brown shade), invoking a casual feeling like that produced by the pairing of the venerable white T-shirt with khaki chinos, and highlighted with silver accessories or a belt. The overall visual effect is completed by the addition of stylish 18-inch chrome wheels.

The digital native cohort’s quest for authenticity can also be interpreted as a demand for economy and efficiency in their everyday car. For this kind of vehicle, the requisite high level of fuel economy and driving performance could come from a powertrain with a 1.2-to-1.5L gasoline engine mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Nissan IDx Freeflow


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