Nissan Will Build the IDx "retro Datsun" As a Z-car. Will It Replace the 370Z?
After showcasing two concept cars in Tokyo at the motor show in 2013, the IDx Freeflow and IDx NISMO, Nissan began touring the concepts globally. Both cars were shown in both physical form and in "playable" form via a 3D design game.
At that show, an interview with Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn also highlighted the two IDx concepts as pre-production test beds to gauge consumer reaction. That reaction has been, by and large, good it seems, as the company appears willing to put the IDx Freeflow into production. According to Motor Authority, that IDx could very well be a Z car. As such, it may be replacing the 370Z.
This isn't confirmed, of course, as Nissan has not said anything concrete nor have they made any official announcement on the IDx. Nor have they said anything about dumping the 370Z. When we reached out to Nissan last week about this idea, we got the equivalent of a "no comment" on the matter. "We have not made any announcements.." In that Motor Authority interview, however, Nissan design chief and senior Vice President Shiro Nakamura said that the goal for the next-generation 370Z would be to make it lighter, faster, cheaper and more like the IDx.
"We want to keep a very high end super performance sports car [the GT-R]; and Z or IDx--whichever--a more affordable, approachable sports car."
This is pretty telling. Right from the head man's mouth, in fact, and it seems to spell doom for the 370Z. Add in that sales of the Z have been pretty slim over the past several months and that many in the industry believe that the 370Z is too high-priced for the performance and refinement level it delivers, when compared to others on the market in the same category, and it is obvious that Nissan knows that the 370Z is in need of some work. Probably a lot of it. Nakamura made it pretty clear that this is what he believes. And he's, more or less, the man in charge of that sort of thing.
But Nissan isn't saying anything yet. Not officially. If the IDx goes to production, which it very likely will in some form, it could be built on the basic 370Z platform. If so, it could be a replacement. It could also be built on any of several other platforms in use at Nissan, of course. The concepts are roughly the same size as the Sentra, Juke, and others. Heck, even the Versa Note might be a donor candidate. If it's built to be in the Z family, however, it will either have to be all-new or based on the current (or a modified version of) the Z's chassis.
So what do you think? Is Nissan considering dropping the 370Z in favor of a new Z-car version of the IDx concept? Could it happen as soon as 2016? Chime in and tell us what you think. It's a very real possibility, given the circumstances.