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 Nissan Working on Mini-Z to target FR-S/BRZ

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MotownG5
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PostSubject: Nissan Working on Mini-Z to target FR-S/BRZ   Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:48 pm


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On the heels of Nissan's recent motorsport successes -- a factory-backed GT-R placed first in class at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring and the radical DeltaWing stole the show at the 24 Hours of Le Mans -- comes news that executives have finally given the green light for a compact sports car known in house as the "Mini-Z." It's not a new rear-drive Silvia/240SX -- that project was cancelled in late 2008 during the financial crisis. Instead, it's a compact, front-drive-based sports car that will be aimed squarely at the Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ.
Plans for such a car were first revealed at last year's Shanghai auto show in the form of the Compact Sports Concept. The company spiel called it a unique sports car for drivers in emerging markets leading active lifestyles with an interest in motorsport, but we can expect to see it in established markets as well. As you can see in this rendering that depicts what the car may turn out to be, it has morphed from a sporty hatch into an aggressive coupe. There is also word that there will be an AWD version to go with the base FWD variant, based on the Juke's all-mode 4x4 i-system with torque vectoring.


Though Nissan didn't reveal the concept's powertrain in Shanghai, we've learned it was fitted with the 190-hp, 1.6-liter turbo-four from the Nissan Juke that also served as base for the engine in the DeltaWing. Though the engine gives up some power to the 200-hp flat-four in the Toyobaru, it's said to have a wider torque band with stronger mid-range and top-end response.
China is thought to be the car's main market, but Japan and some European countries are destined to receive small batches as well, with the U.S. still under consideration. Price-wise, the Nissan is expected to undercut the Toyota and Subaru by as much as 10 percent, carrying a sticker price somewhere below $22,000. Nissan will be able to cut production costs and weight by incorporating the current Juke's platform and turbo powertrain. Another major difference will be design. The Mini-Z coupe is expected to follow in the Juke's footsteps and employ some unique lines, eschewing the traditional sports car proportions of the Toyobaru. One insider says the Nissan will be close in size to the Honda CR-Z.
The project was conceived as a joint Japan-China endeavor, with Japan taking the R&D initiative while China worked on design and data assembly, according to a source close to Nissan. It has since been approved by all the relevant departments inside Nissan's HQ, and, according to our source, is well into the development cycle with a debut possible as early as late 2013.


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Tygur
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PostSubject: Re: Nissan Working on Mini-Z to target FR-S/BRZ   Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:44 am

I think they missed the point that the big deal with the Toyota/Subaru is its rear wheel drive. This seems more like a Veloster competition. It looks great, though.
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tkromer
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PostSubject: Re: Nissan Working on Mini-Z to target FR-S/BRZ   Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:10 am

Tygur wrote:
I think they missed the point that the big deal with the Toyota/Subaru is its rear wheel drive. This seems more like a Veloster competition. It looks great, though.

My thoughts exactly.

Also speaking of the Veloster, make an AWD turbo one like the rally guys have and I'd be tempted to trade my Evo.
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