Japanese car magazines are notorious for spinning tall tales and fabricating stories just to move issues off the display racks, but occasionally they hit gold and get the scoop on cars that many in the Western world had no idea were coming. Japanese mag MyCar may be onto just such a scoop, with the glossy title recently publishing a report saying that Nissan are planning to launch a petrol-electric front-wheel-drive sports hatch designed to compete with the upcoming Honda CR-Z.
The so-called FF Hybrid Sports will be powered by a 1.5-litre HR15DE inline-four and an electric motor of unknown power. Given the recent collaboration between Toyota and Nissan on hybrid technology you can expect an evolved version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive to supply the juice to the wheels, while a version of the GT-R's 6-speed DSG transaxle might see service as the FF Hybrid Sport's gear-swapper, however we wouldn't be too surprised if Nissan chose to use their CVT gearbox instead.
The FF Hybrid is believed to be based on Nissan's B platform, which underpins a number of Nissan and Renault compacts, and the car is rumoured to be 4400mm long, 1780mm wide, 1450mm tall and have a wheelbase of 2600mm. Suspension is expected to comprise of sports-tuned Macpherson struts up front and double-wishbones on the rear. MyCar says that a quartet of Brembo brakes will also be used, but given the car's projected weight of 1100kg I doubt whether they'd be entirely necessary - particularly if the hybrid system makes use of regenerative braking.
Styling remains a complete mystery, although MyCar have taken a stab at what the FF Hybrid Sports could look like (above). They've incorporated many of Nissan's contemporary design elements, like the "Hook' light cluster design that was first seen on the '09 Maxima, the kinked C-pillar and fat haunches of the 370Z and the multi-bladed grille of the V36 Skyline/Infiniti G37, and it's fair to say that their impression of it is pretty attractive. I know it's only a rendering, but if it's in any way based in fact then the finished article should be quite stunning visually and Nissan could be onto a winner. The FF Hybrid Sports is expected to go on sale in the latter half of 2010 with a sticker price of JPY 2,300,000 and will take up a position at the bottom of Nissan's growing performance car range. Markets haven't yet been confirmed, however expect it to be sold wherever the CR-Z is, meaning Europe will be a dead certainty.
[Source & photos: MyCar, via 7-Tune]