Nissan might need solely simply revealed the manufacturing model of its all-new 400hp Z sports activities automobile in August in New York Metropolis, however now we’re listening to snippets from the corridors of their R&D division that they’ve one other sports activities automobile challenge within the pipeline.
And it’s nothing lower than a mid-engined sports activities mannequin. However given the low gross sales volumes of sports activities vehicles, and the excessive value of growth, the one option to make this challenge occur can be to make use of current expertise from the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
This isn’t the primary time that Nissan has grappled with the concept of a mid-engined sports activities automobile. Again in 1985, the corporate unveiled its 3.0-liter, mid-engined, all-wheel-drive ‘MID4’ idea (pictured above) on the Frankfurt Auto Present. Later in 1987, it debuted the MID4-II on the Tokyo Motor Present, with the plan to launch the automobile onto the market by the late 80s. It was the primary automobile to function Nissan’s ATTESA all-wheel-drive and the brand new HICAS four-wheel steering system that each appeared on the Skyline GT-R in 1989 and different fashions. The MID4 was initially focusing on rivals from Porsche and Ferrari however value points in the end shelved the challenge.
Now, the model is again with a mid-engined automobile idea that has loads going for it. As talked about above, in Nissan’s case it has the Renault-Nissan Alliance to lean on, which, when you consider it, is the one cause this automobile is even being thought-about. And which means it has entry to the extremely acclaimed mid-engined platform from the Renault Alpine A110.
Nevertheless, in contrast to Toyota and BMW who shared the identical platform and in-line 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder engine on the Supra and Z4, or Toyota and Subaru who used the identical platform and a couple of.4-liter boxer engine within the GR86 and BRZ, Nissan will need to impress their very own identification onto this challenge by giving their sports activities automobile its personal distinctive physique and inside design, and naturally its personal bespoke powertrain. In truth, we might anticipate the automobile would take a mixture of design cues from the MID4 idea of 36 years in the past and the Alpine as properly.
Whereas the brand new Nissan would make use of Renault’s Alpine A110 platform, it could not use that coupe’s 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. In stead, Nissan would choose for a similar 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder turbocharged engine that’s fitted to the Rogue however bolt on a revised model of its extremely lauded (in Japan at the very least!) e-Energy system.
First launched in Japan in 2016 within the Nissan Notice to rave evaluations, e-Energy delivers the identical 100% electrical motor-driven expertise discovered within the LEAF to generate instantaneous torque. In contrast to typical hybrid techniques, nonetheless, an onboard gasoline engine purely acts as a generator to cost the batteries and doesn’t drive the wheels.
As for the brand new mixture of turbo engine and e-Energy, one supply near Nissan means that the brand new, as but un-named mid-engined sports activities automobile will get 4WD, with the e-Energy system driving the fronts, the 1.5-liter turbo driving the rear wheels and estimated energy eclipsing 300hp. That powertrain can be married to a CVT with paddle-shifters and sitting on the Alpine’s chassis, the automobile ought to ship high class dealing with. If Nissan takes the plunge with this radical new sports activities automobile, given the pandemic, prices, and ongoing semi-conductor points, it could slot into the model’s lineup below the brand new Z and will seem by 2024.