NISSAN IDX CONCEPT
Nissan's global vice president Andy Palmer promised fans that a response to Toyota's popular 86 coupe - its "mid-life crisis car" - would debut at this week's Tokyo Motor Show.
Here it is: the IDx concepts, revealed here in a racing Nismo trim, alongside a more road-focused 'Freeflow' design.
Both concepts are of course heavily inspired by Nissan's rich history of two-door models, including the hugely popular 510 Bluebird of the 60s and 70s, know here as the Datsun 1600.
There's a touch of the classic 'Hakosuka' Skyline coupe in the IDx's design, too. Really, you could sink hours into finding familiar features in this new concept's classic look.
In the case of the Nismo concept, there's also a colour scheme that will be instantly recognisable to fans, evoking memories of the legendary Team BRE 510 race car - badged as a Datsun back then, of course.
A set of large wide-open alloy wheels prop up each corner, surrounded by guards inspired by the bolt-on flares seen on racing cars of years past - and even today in some classes.
While the Nismo concept gets a decidely more modern headlight and tail-light designs, the Freeflow is all retro.
Four circular headlights hark back to classic sedans and coupes, and a silver insert panel is a clear nod to the old steel bumpers.
Even the paint job is a classic - just about every car in the 60s and 70s offered a tan, sand or beige option. (These days, the closest you'll get is a champagne, or 'premium beige' if you will... - Ed.)
But, despite its vintage styling, Nissan says it designed the IDx for 'Generation Z', a group it calls "digital natives". The generation born after 1990, drawing on feedback from younger fans in the creation of the IDx twins.
"We found out that these people are... let's say... not so interested in cars," Nissan's Francis Bancon said. "We have to find some way to connect with these people, who we believe are very very far right now from the automotive world."
"This generation wants to be part of the story. We have to set a process to make them involved; not in a cosmetic and tuning process after the car is done, but involved from the beginning."
The two cars differ not only cosmetically, but also in dimensions. While the Freeflow measures 4.1 metres long and 1.7 metres wide, the Nismo gets is toughened up by adding another 100mm to its width (courtesy of the 'bolt-on' guards).
As for power, well, there is none. These concepts are design studies only, but Nissan says it envisions a small 1.2 to 1.5 litre petrol engine for the Freeflow, and a larger 1.6 litre turbocharged and direct-injected mill for the Nismo.
No figures have been offered, but today's small boosted engines are capable of more than 150kW without breaking more than a sheen of sweat.
And so the obvious question: will we see the IDx in showrooms? Nissan isn't saying yet, but it isn't writing off the idea, either.
Buyer feedback will be a key decider, however. If you're keen on this slice of modernised history, get on the phone.
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