NEWS: Nissan’s Sport Sedan Concept may preview Bluebird successor, but not the 510

Nissan Sport Sedan Concept

Earlier today, Nissan released a teaser shot of a car called the Sports Sedan Concept to close out the year. The show car will be fully revealed at the Detroit Motor Show in January, where it will be joined by the IDx Freeflow and IDx NISMO for their North American debuts. The press release has led some media outlets to speculate that the Sports Sedan Concept is a Datsun 510 revival. It is not and here’s our evidence. 

First, it’s understandable that some reports got it wrong because the press release somewhat confusingly lumps descriptions of all three concepts into one paragraph:

The Sport Sedan Concept previews a new energetic design direction that amplifies Nissan’s legendary approach of applying sports car principles to a sedan. The IDx Freeflow and IDx NISMO’s innovative, eye-catching designs offer two different approaches to a next-generation compact vehicle…

However, the concept is likely to preview the next Maxima, an offshoot the Bluebird lineup. Specifically, though, Sports Sedan Concept name recalls the 1989 Maxima, which was marketed as the “Four Door Sports Car” and even wore a tiny “4DSC” decal on the door. It was praised for its performance and handling in what was essentially a mid-size front-wheel-drive sedan.

The strongest evidence, though, is that we’ve seen the Sports Sedan Concept in person already. Although we can’t reveal any details beyond what has been shown, we can assure you it’s not a new 510.

Lastly, the current Maxima was introduced in 2009 and is due for a refresh. Sorry, 510 fans, if your hopes were raised. However, Nissan is definitely gauging public response to the IDx, so if you would like to see it enter production, please let your voice be heard. They are listening.

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26 Responses to NEWS: Nissan’s Sport Sedan Concept may preview Bluebird successor, but not the 510

  1. Aaron says:

    The stongest evidence….

    C’mon, we all now what’s going on here

  2. Randy says:

    Next Altima?

    Hey Nissan, we know you’re listening, so it’s “YES!” on the IDx, and “Sport Sedans” NEED TO HAVE STICK SHIFTS available all the way from the base model to the top touring version, or whatever the top line would be called. No stick; no deal. Two and four door models, from the basic, roll-up windows model to the one with the built-in nav and moonroof.

    So how about more pix?

    And a Hap — py New year to all!

    • pete240z says:

      Roll up windows? Base model? I’m with you but it doesn’t bring the big profits to Nissan. I have a base model Accord and love it! I might head over to this Detroit Auto show…….

      • Randy says:

        Well, my understanding is that sticks are still popular in Europe, so ship it on over!

        The base model is the “get people in the car who maybe couldn’t otherwise afford it,” model.

        Here’s my reasoning, as always:

        Let’s say someone goes in because the new GT-R is sitting there, all pretty in chrome yellow, and we promised not to drool – too much. Most people ain’t buyin’ that; they gotta haul the family around, and have regular jobs, but they’re not averse to looking…

        Maxima starts at $31K, and there’s the mortgage, kids, etc, so nope.

        Sentra starts at $16K, which works, but it’s a little snug.

        Altima – ahhhhhh, there we go… Good size, like the styling, and there’s a V-6 available. $22K might be doable, but it’s kinda high in the budget – they probably haven’t paid off the present ride yet, and let’s face it; leasing sucks; have to be really kind, to it, or get creamed at the end. (A friend’s gonna get pegged for ripping off the front air dam, either at the end of the lease, or to have somebody fix that.)

        Oh, hey, there’s that low-mileage 3-4-year-old Camry over in the Used lot… Hmmmmm… Gotta think about this…

        Bring in the “D.” The Altima-D (DEcontent level, but don’t put the D in the name; it’s just Altima). Purchase payments are doable without worrying about going over mileage on some lease, the kids can spill who-knows-what in there, and you won’t be as bent about the shopping cart that somehow went UPhill to find your door.

        For a couple of grand less than the mainstream Altima, you still get an Altima, with all the core features that you like, that new-car smell (MMMMMMmmmmmmmmm!!!), a full factory warranty, and no questions about the history, ’cause it’s NEW, and it’s ALL YOURS!

        Sort of like the Versa; starting at 12, through starting at 17 (41% starting price spread!).

        Realistically, there’s not likely going to be any roll-up windows model for the appliance-people, but there are at least 2 versions of pretty much everything on the market; the high-option/high profit model, and the one that most people actually buy.

        (Just a note: my mother’s car, and mine BOTH had a recall notice issued for the power window switches… Same manufacturer, but not the same car. Reason for the recall? Water can get into the switches and cause them to CATCH FIRE. Never had that with roll-ups, and I’m getting tired of the things freezing shut.)

        . . .And stop the price premium on the coupe… It’s less practical, so the primary audience is a younger demographic, who don’t probably have as much money to spend… Then there’s the empty-nester bunch, who don’t need 4 doors, but just ain’t gonna spend $X,000 more…

    • Randy says:

      Did a touch of poking around – most are betting on it being a new Maxima, and making some reference to the now-old “4DSC” moniker.

  3. pete240z says:

    “………….we can assure you it’s not a new 510”

    No, Nissan wouldn’t want to sell a cool, sporty, economically priced car to us working stiffs.

    Instead bring us more Altima CVT options along with more blue tooth crap and facebook surfing while we drive……

    • Ben says:

      The IDx is still being considered. We just need to show them there is support.

      • pete240z says:

        offer me this IDx and I am heading over to my local Nissan dealer trading in my 62,000 mile 2011 Accord LX 5-speed 2.4 liter base model sedan for one.

        • Randy says:

          Uh, you DO know the teaser pic above isn’t the IDx, right?

          What doesn’t make sense to me, is that they’re saying “Bluebird successor,” but wouldn’t that be the Sentra? As I recall, the Maxima came out of the Sentra line way back when, so are they looking that far back?

          Remember the 200-SX that was basically a 2-door “Sports model” Sentra? What if this is effectively that?

        • Randy says:

          I probably should have read the article closer… That’s what happens when you just don’t sleep.

          Too bad they never built the Intima – as was; not as a styling exercise.

          How sweet would it be if it was a coupe? 🙂

      • Randy says:

        Oh, I think they know there’s support… 🙂

        Is it going to be maiking the show circuit?

  4. salia-nwonk says:

    Lets be honest.

    The days of a manufacturer building a new car without pwr windows and all sorts of bluetooth/navsystem crap is gone. As is the availability to buy any car with a manual transmission. What ever new cars Nissan has up the pipeline now will undoubtedly be spectacular and appealing to the masses. All the while leaving those of us who enjoy using their left foot while in traffic, and the desire to build muscles whilst rolling up and down our windows, out in the cold.

    I for one kind of like the new IDX Freeflow car….lets just not pretend its a 510 ok? Dont ruin the name with something thrown together for the sake of nostalgia, or worse yet to capture a market percentage.

    Happy New Year, and may there be a lucky and rare barn find in your 2000 and 14!

    • Randy says:

      Just based on your first paragraph, here’s the question:


      Why should we be effectively forced to spend that much more money for features that we don’t want?

      Does Nissan want to write off those who – by what I’ve read here – are slightly rabid fans?

      Sell more cars – some with fewer “features,” or lose the sales.

  5. rich says:

    pete….no one gives a shit about your accord.

    • Randy says:

      Aww, be nice; Honda Accord sedan is available with a stick in 4-cyl models, and the coupe can even get a stick with a V-6.

      Nissan doesn’t offer a stick in any Altima that I saw…

      Now, I admit to have not been paying much attention to Japanese cars for a number of years, but is Nissan no longer “Driven?”

      If they build a mid-level coupe/sedan to compete with the Accord, then maybe they could start a little “war,” like is apparently on with Challenger/Camaro/Mustang. Who knows, maybe even Toyota might be dragged in and build an interesting (non-appliance) Camry.

      I’m not talking about supercar performance; just something engaging – something I want to take down that country road.

    • pete240z says:

      The point I was trying for is that there are people who buy new cars that are the base, stripper models with NO options; and RANDY said it already; The base model is the “get people in the car who maybe couldn’t otherwise afford it,” model.

      That’s me – so bring a $20-23,000 Sports Sedan the 11 year old can fit in the back seat of. Maybe the Nissan Juke Nismo is the one?

  6. Styles says:

    Just a minor correction,

    “Specifically, though, Sports Sedan Concept name recalls the 1989 Maxima……… It was never sold in Japan in one of the rare cases where we got the better car in the US.”

    The J30 Maxima definitely was sold in Japan…. Sorry to nit-pick.

    I wonder if the Sports Sedan Concept also pays homage to the famous Nissan SSS “Super Sports Sedan”?

  7. Aaron says:

    The car in question is the 2015 Maxima concept… What the hell are y’all arguing about?

    • Ben says:

      Because Jalopnik speculated that it might be the next 510. We felt we had to set the record straight in case people had read that article.

  8. Dave says:

    Very exciting! The front fender is a bit R35-esque. I love the Maxima of the early ’90s. Aside from the 4DSC schtick (which I thought was cool), I seem to recall it also had a killer sound system. These were really great cars, and with each new iteration of the Maxima I keep hoping its spirit would be revived (and usually disappointed). I will be at the Detroit Auto Show this year, can’t wait to see the IDx cars!!!

  9. dickie says:

    looks like Randy had too much coffee.

    points to consider:

    – jalopnik is not a credible source for anything, so no correction was necessary. it was appreciated though.

    – the idx concept banks heavily on retro details but it’s too busy and contrived where the 510 was a simple, 3-box design aesthetically pleasing from more than one perspective. the idx is polarizing because it has looks only a fanboy could love.

    – nissan stated they don’t plan on releasing anything stickshift, and to do so would be a big departure from their current corporate philosophy. even bigger than putting a lightweight rwd platform into production, because they obviously couldn’t offer a rwd transmission in anything else in their all-fwd lineup to spread out development costs. unless it was shared with a truck…

    – that nose screams maxima, and the styling will trickle down to the altima in the next refresh. that’s what i think.

    • Randy says:


    • Randy says:

      “No sticks” would be a real shame, especially since they’re getting them from somewhere for the Juke NISMO, which has more horsepower (197) than the Altima 4, and shouldn’t be a problem.

      I noticed there’s no 2014 Altima coupe, so is it dead, or is it taking off a little time for a redesign to be completed?

      I could see the above being a coupe (pref. a hardtop!), with long, pointed quarter windows and a fastback roofline blending into the trunk.

      I don’t think I buy into the argument that there’s no rwd tranny… If it’s a 5-speed, they could probably pull an old one out of mothballs, or maybe the Z’s trans.

      For rwd platforms, anything in Renault’s portfolio to use?

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