Nissan is gearing up to go head-to-head with the Toyabaru triplets with a small sports car of its own.
About six months ago there were rumors regarding a possible "Mini-Z," a lighter and cheaper Nissan sports car than the 370Z. With all of the success surrounding the Toyabaru triplets (GT86, FR-S and BRZ), several automakers have supposedly expressed interest in building a competitor. For Nissan the debate last summer was whether to downsize its next-generation 370Z or go with something even smaller. That question has apparently now been answered.
According to a report from Auto Motor Blog, Nissan's vice president, Andy Palmer, admitted that his company is currently hard at work on a new sports car that will slot below the 370Z, but not replace it outright. What's interesting is that we could very well be seeing it appear in concept form within a year. The question that still remains is what platform it'll be based on. Chances are the Juke's platform will serve as the donor because this way Nissan can keep development costs down as well as the production car's price tag. The only problem with this theory is that the Juke is front-wheel-drive with optional all-wheel-drive.
Palmer did say that this car will be designed as a "love or hate" product, so the absence of rear-wheel-drive could be what he's referring to. Styling wise, we're looking at the Esflow concept as a possible inspiration, but nothing is for certain just yet.