Recent news concerning Toyota and Subaru?s joint development of a lightweight affordable RWD coupe has been hitting blogosphere headlines with predicatable regularity. You could be forgiven for thinking that they are the only Japanese marques looking to re-introduce the formula that is held in such high regard by auto enthusiasts.
But you would be mistaken. Nissan know only too well how to build FR coupes that go quick, look good, drift well and develop loads of street cred on their way to eventual cult status - in fact they are the experts.
Not wanting to be left out in the cold, Best Car is reporting that Nissan are ramping up development of their own RWD coupe in an effort to bring it to market ahead of the Subota offering. Although details are thin on the ground it is suspected that the new coupe will be comparable in size to the old S15 Silvia/200SX and use a modified version of the 350Z?s platform. The aim will be to keep weight to a minimum so that performance, handling and efficiency are maximized.
The really interesting news concerns what may be under the bonnet with the guys at 7Tune predicting a choice of a 2.0-litre NA engine or one or two turbo charged engines of 1.6-litre and 1.8-litre capacity. The turbo-charged units are believed to be favoured as they will use Nissan?s VCR (Variable Compression Ratio) Piston Crank System to provide both performance and efficiency.
The VCR equipped turbo-engines are capable of providing the economy of a small capacity NA engine in city driving and also provide the power expected of this sort of car when required. Best Car estimate that the 1.6-litre VCR equipped turbo engine would be good for 150ps/110kW in high compression mode with up to 225ps/165kW being available in low-compression turbo mode.
With the Subaru/Toyota offering not expected to hit the streets before 2011, it is expected that Nissan will target late 2010 as the on sale date for the car that could herald the return of the legendary Silvia/200SX nameplates.