Nissan wants a new sports car to take on Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 19, 2012

The success of the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ has encouraged other Japanese automakers to build a compact sports car of their own. Nissan, which is famous for offering the finest and most affordable rear-wheel drive sports coupes currently available on the market, is developing a ‘Mini-Z’ model that’s targeted at rivalling the latest product from Toyota.

It’s quite odd that the Japanese company is working on a front-wheel drive instead of a rear-wheel drive sports car but there will likely be an all-wheel drive version based on the Juke’s all-mode 4×4 i-system with torque vectoring. Much of the Mini-Z’s development will originate from the current Juke crossover platform, which include the 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant that delivers 190-hp.

This isn’t exactly the 200hp that the FR-S and BRZ are capable of but being turbocharged offers a “thrill” when driving due to its wider torque range. It’s not certain if this front-wheel drive sports car would be offered in the U.S.

It’s believed that the pricing of the existing Toyota and Subaru models will be dropped by up to 10%. Nissan can reduce costs by incorporating the Juke’s platform and powertrain, A Nissan insider said that this Mini-Z will have the same size as the Honda CR-Z.

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