The news is out: The Nissan IDx is dead. This sad revelation is being reported after The Truth About Cars talked to Pierre Loing, VP of Product Planning at Nissan North America.We at JNC can confirm we’ve been hearing rumors about the IDx being stillborn from Nissan engineers as early as August 2014. TTAC says that the IDx concept’s styling may live on in a small, front-wheel-drive coupe, but we’ve heard that from Nissan that there’s is a chance it will come to market on an AWD platform.
So what happened to the most anticipated concept of the last decade, one that Nissan knew would be so mind-blowing that they practically shoved the supercar-slaying NISMO GT-R off stage at its Tokyo debut?
First, a timeline.
- Late summer 2013: We are told by Nissan Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura there will a surprise at the Tokyo Motor Show that fall, something that would be of much interest to JNC readers.
- November 2013: Nissan unveils the IDx Freeflow and NISMO concepts at the Tokyo Motor Show. It is one of the most exciting concepts of the last decade and wins tons of accolades.
- January 2014: The IDx concepts make their North American debut with new grilles to match the rest of the Nissan lineup. Nissan VP Andy Palmer states the IDx is headed for production.
- July 2014: Rumors emerge that the IDx is dead. Nissan immediately refutes rumor, saying they haven’t decided yet.
- August 2014: Turns out Palmer was headed to Aston Martin. JNC hears from Nissan engineers that the IDx is dead on arrival.
- December 2014: Reports claim the Nissan IDx has been green lit for production.
- January 2015: JNC is told by Nissan representatives that a IDx-class car is still being evaluated, but that it will not be what JNCers want.
TTAC extracted this quote from Loing: “Small, sporty cars are very attractive for consumers but not in huge numbers. To do them properly – in our case – you can’t rely on an existing rear-wheel drive platform, because its dimensions are for a much larger powertrain. So, for us, it would mean developing a different rear-wheel drive platform and then we are bumping into the same obstacles every other automaker has: the volumes of a small, sporty car are not enough to justify the investment.”
All we know is that we’ve been bombarding every Nissan engineer, product planner and janitor that would listen with the same pitch. Develop a small RWD platform that underpins the next Z, a two-seater sports car. Make the IDx the 2+2 coupe, sedan, hatch, wagon and whatever BMW is building these days and, well, that’s some volume.
But even as it was coming out of our mouths, we knew the idea could never fly. Thats because Nissan isn’t just Nissan. It’s one part of a Voltron-like entity formed by Renault, neo-Datsun, Dacia, Samsung Motors and AvtoVAZ. To CEO Carlos Ghosn, chasing share in emerging markets is priority number one.
However, a glimmer of hope remains. Back in January, we pressed Nissan on the issue of whether it’d be front-wheel-drive. The possibility of all-wheel-drive was raised, though that option was still in evaluation. If platform sharing is the answer, this seems like a good possibility. Nissan already makes a Juke NISMO RS that has a turbo 1.6L good for 215 hp (though the AWD version is available only with a CVT and has 4 fewer horses). A new Bluebird 1600 turbo, anyone?