Nissan IDx concepts bring back budget racersMon, 13 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0800
Nissan channeled its inner Datsun for the Detroit auto show on Monday. The Japanese brand showed off its IDx Freeflow and IDx Nismo concepts, which we first saw in Tokyo. The brand cited the new ways people buy and customize cars as the reason for the classic yet eye-catching style.
“IDx Nismo and IDx Freeflow show how Nissan is using new and innovative product development methods to meet the needs of younger customers who have novel, exciting ideas, and engage with them to build the cars they want,” said Shiro Nakamura, senior vice president and chief creative officer of Nissan.
Nissan says it used a simple three-box design, which it derived from communications with young customers: “A car without legacy influences, based on the ideal proportions and straight stance of a simple three-box shaped car design.”
We completely agree, we're just surprised the “youngs” summarized it so well.
The IDx Freeflow is for people who seek “natural and tasteful things” and employ a “simple and clean attitude,” whatever that means.
It features a basic steering wheel with a modern speedometer and an analog clock. Metal finishes combine with thick material on the dash and denim on the seats that set the interior off from other small sedans.
The IDx measures about 13.5 feet in length, 5.6 feet in width and 4.3 feet in overall height, putting it near the size of a BMW 1-series, if not a little smaller.
Nissan says power could come from a 1.2-liter or 1.5-liter gas engine mated to a CVT.
The IDx Nismo is a bit wider than the Freeflow, and sports many of the classic Datsun BRE styling cues. Nissan wanted to “take its heritage and marry it with intriguing new details.”
One of those details is the reverse slanted nose, which is done on the Nismo using carbon panels, as well as side exhaust pipes. It features spoilers on the front and rear and 19-inch wheels at all four corners. The Freeflow has 18s.
Nissan says the IDx Nismo could get a turbocharged 1.6-liter motor with a CVT. It only mentions a manual shift mode, unfortunately, not a manual transmission. That would obviously be an appalling omission.
Inside the IDx Nismo gets Alcantara seat covers, plain gauges and metal surfaces that contrast with the red suede trim.
“This machine's design echoes the racing car imagery of the past united with the buzz [young people] get from the virtual world they know well,” said Nakamura. “That this car could result from co-creation dialogue alone exemplifies Nissan's fresh approach to contemplating car design, and even kindles a fire in the hearts of people fond of the good old days of high-performance cars.”
About the Detroit Auto Show
The North American International Auto Show, known to most as the Detroit auto show, continues to serve as a barometer for the entire industry. This year, we'll expect to see the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06, the 2015 Ford Mustang and the BMW M3 and M4. The 2014 Detroit auto show is held at Cobo Hall in Detroit, MI and is open to the public from January 18-26.
By Jake Lingeman