Snapped at the recent GT 2012 event in Japan, the grainy, shadowy image above may be our first true look at the upcoming low-cost rear-wheel-drive sports coupe from Nissan.
The most telling part of the image would have to be those fat haunches, which strongly suggest that there's a pair of driven wheels beneath them. There's also a pronounced crease along the leading edge of the bonnet that carries up around the sides and into the A-pillars, and there's some 350Z-esque tail lights around the back. The headlight clusters also look vaguely reminiscent of the S13 Silvia, one of this car's direct ancestors and one that is still popular today as a source of cheap RWD thrills.
Depending on who you listen to, either a 2-litre naturally-aspirated engine or 1.6-1.8-litre turbocharged engine will be put under that creased bonnet. Nissan's newly-developed Variable Compression Ratio technology is also likely to be fitted to the FR coupe's engine, as is the VVEL variable valve geometry system seen on the new Infiniti G37 and Nissan V36 Skyline. Power is estimated to be around the 220hp mark, which should be more than enough to move the FR coupe's 1200kg frame with some degree of alacrity.
Because of the heavily directional lighting, it's hard to make out any other details on the leaked image. Confusingly though, the glasshouse appears to have a very pronounced B-pillar set right in the middle of the car, hinting at the presence of a set of rear doors. Are those bulging rear fenders merely a trick of the light, or are Nissan working on some kind of 4-door coupe (a la the Mercedes-Benz CLS) that they're not telling us about? We'll find out in 2010, when Nissan's FR coupe is set to hit the market.