Nissan’s Mazda MX-5 fighter is back on the drawing board

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 3, 2011

Nissan has revived a project to build the rear-wheel-drive 200SX as part of its campaign to launch 52 new cars by 2016. This model, which will be powered by electricity, is expected to go up against the Mazda MX-5.

It was in 2008 that Nissan shelved this project, which was for this 2+2 to be built on the 370Z platform and to be powered by the 188bhp 1.6-litre turbo that’s used in the Juke. But the current plan is now for the car to use a new chassis and to have a different name.

In March 2010, Daimler’s heads inked a deal to provide mid-size platforms to Nissan, which could carry a variety of motors from four-cylinders to V8s.

Aside from accommodating the 200SX, it will also be used for the 370Z replacement as well as the upcoming GT-R. In addition, it will be used on the Infiniti G and a new sports car from the luxury brand.

Sources in Japan said that there’s still no decision on what will power the new Nissan. Among the options being considered are a tuned variant of the Leaf’s drivetrain and a hybrid set-up.

Nissan has previously shown its interest for an all-electric rear-wheel-drive sports car, featuring the ESFLOW concept, which had made its debut last March at Geneva Motor Show.

The sources added that Nissan has asked Lotus Engineering to help tune the chassis to make sure that it offers precise handling. The British company is also being asked to help with creating a new lightweight construction. This model is expected to arrive in 2013 and to be priced at about £20,000.

Topics: nissan, mazda, mazda mx-5

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