By on November 20, 2013

IDx Freeflow / IDx NISMO

 

Claiming that the Toyobaru twins are “mid-life crisis” cars, Nissan fired back with their own retro concept, dubbed the IDx, which was apparently designed with the help of “digital natives”, or young people who have grown up with computers and the internet. For such a Generation Y-oriented car, it’s fairly retro.

Showing shades of both the Datsun 510 and the very first Nissan Silvia, the IDx is a bit longer than a Mazda Miata. While the concept uses a 1.6L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine mated to a CVT, Nissan claims that the production car would see a downsized engine but that the CVT would remain.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

98 Comments on “Tokyo 2013: Nissan IDx Shows A Potential Toyobaru Fighter...”


  • avatar
    izzy

    CVT? – Wrong answer!

    • 0 avatar

      CVT works great in go-karts, so why not in a little sporty car? Nissan is synonimous with CVT and CVTs longer and better than anyone else.

      • 0 avatar
        CelticPete

        Because sporty little cars are trying to eek out 30mpg highway and are always trying to be in a high gear..

        If they made cars with a gas mileage be damned approach and had the CVT adjust from the equivalent of 1st gear to 3rd gear only people would probably like them..

        In the modern cars CVTs are always punishing you for trying to drive aggressively.. IT’s the same thing with FWD. It’s not that it doesn’t work its that FWD punishes you for getting on the gas earlier in corners – or using the gas at all..as it wants your car to straighten out with throttle..

        Probably this will be FWD – so CVT makes sense. People buying it probably don’t care about driving feel and just want something that looks cool.

        • 0 avatar

          I could bring the ghosts of Civic DX and Neon racers to dispute this, but fortunately we have an even better example: Mini.

          • 0 avatar
            CelticPete

            FWD race cars are more fun then non race cars. But RWD is more fun the FWD – all things being equal.

            The reason is torque steer. As you add throttle to a FWD car it wants to straighten out. This compared to a car that you can steer with the throttle is less fun.

            You can’t dispute physics. In a FWD car you are asking the front tires to do nearly all the work all the time. Its not fun and its dynamically inferior.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            I agree with what you’re saying, CelticPete, but that’s not torque steer. Torque steer is simply the tendency for the forces from the powertrain to provide inputs to the steering system that the driver has to counteract. When you’re accelerating in a straight line and you do a 1-2 clutch dump, it’s the force that tries to yank the wheel out of your hand. You’re describing the dynamic limitations of a FWD layout.

            FWD vehicles are a compromise. The only reasons for an enthusiast to drive a FWD vehicle are the economic and practicality considerations. All else being equal, you can’t have nearly as much fun with FWD as RWD (or, in lower traction situations, AWD). But all else is never equal.

            It’s hard to imagine a CVT being anywhere near as enjoyable to drive as a good manual transmission. It’s hard to imagine any automatic being as enjoyable to drive as a good manual transmission.

            The only fast kart I’ve driven was a 6-speed shifter kart. Snowmobiles are the most fun I’ve had with a CVT, but it’s hard to compare that to driving.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @rpn453: That’s prejudicial thinking that totally ignores historical precedent. Long, long ago a European company proved that front wheel drive was better than RWD and later proved that AWD was better than either–and in both cases their cars banned from a specific class of racing due to an “unfair advantage”.

            FWD cars are more agile because they can literally pull themselves around corners, though admittedly when accelerating the balance shifts to the rear wheels which reduces traction. Oddly, experience racers have proven that an FWD car can take on even high-speed tracks as quickly as RWD by the simple trick of applying a touch of brake to shift the balance and roll into the power more smoothly than the typical RWD racer does.

            Your CVT statement is also obviously opinionated. When it becomes capable of withstanding the torque of high-performance driving, it could completely replace all other forms of transmission as the torque and horsepower would be automatically balanced to the best available “gear ratio” for all power levels. The only question is when the CVT will be capable of handling the power. Why will it be better? Because the driver would never need to lift off the gas to shift gears and there will never be an instant–not even a millisecond–when there won’t be power applied to those drive wheels under acceleration OR deceleration.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree completely. No stick/clutch, no sale.

      But at least it looks like you’ll be able to get a good view out the windows, unlike the BRZ shooting brake.

  • avatar
    velvet fog

    Looks like a 1980 Tercel to me.

    http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/3/3403/1681/33505840001_large.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      It does a decent enough job at the 510 to me. The CVT on the other hand, if it is the only option. . .

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Naah, I think it’s a fairly direct 610 revival.

        http://bringatrailer.com/2009/09/09/bat-exclusive-1974-datsun-610-hot-rod/

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        One of the best looking vehicles I’ve ever seen – ever.

        However, the CVT, as mentioned, if the only option, kills it.

        It has to have rwd, a 5 or 6 speed manual w/clutch, a higher quality interior than the FR-S/BRZ, and a power to weight ratio of at least 1 bhp to 10 pounds of GVW, and it’ll sell as fast as they can make them.

        If they give it a 240z/260z style retro dash with REAL, FUNCTIONAL gauges for oil temp, oil pressure, coolant temp even better…

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      Funny I was thinking the Fiat 131.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fiat_131-Volumetrico-Abarth.JPG

      • 0 avatar

        Dad had one. Fiat 131 Mirafiori. I loved that car. But now you put a bug in my head, you see of all the concepts and cars shoen today, this and the Honda were the only ones really attractive to my eyes, with this Nissan being the one I liked most by quite a margin. I had not associated it with the Fiat, but now that you mentioned it, I can see it. Maybe that’s why this appealed to me. Maybe it had the synapses firing away subconsciously.

    • 0 avatar
      Lynchenstein

      I see more 72 Celica GT. That’s a good thing in my book.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Seriously Carlos you expect this oddball thing to tempt potential FR-S buyers and then you follow it up with “production car would see a downsized engine”. Downsized *from* a 1.6L? Go sit in the corner and think about what you have done.

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      Agreed. It needs a real motor. The Juke motor actually seems like a good fit. The turbocharging would endear it to tuners.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I agree. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to use an already popular engine and get tuner cred.

        • 0 avatar
          imag

          Hopefully the product planners will look at the CRZ sales numbers and realize the exact same thing will happen to this car if they cripple it with a tiny motor.

          And the CVT… ugh.

          • 0 avatar

            CR-Z was also penalized with a hybrid. In general it was basically the very unsuccessufl Insight with a section cut away: same front end and cab up to the B-pillar. No wonder it flopped. And I am not sure it is much of a guidance here.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Why would a 1.6L turbocharged engine be less desirable than a 2.0L H4?

      A naturally aspirated car needs at least 2.0L to tow around the heft of modern vehicles. A turbocharged car can get the job done with less than 1.6L, especially if the car is lightweight and the ratios are done properly.

      • 0 avatar
        Styles79

        The 1.6 turbo engine is definitely as good as the 2.0 H4 in the Toyotbaru, it’s all in the numbers. The 86/BR-Z/FR-S has 147kW, at 7000rpm, and 205NM at 6000. The 1.6 turbo has a little less power, 140kW at 6000rpm, but a whopping 240NM all the way from 1750rpm through to 5600rpm…… I’d rather have the 1.6 turbo any day…

        BUT, the talk is that the production car is going to have a smaller engine “Nissan claims that the production car would see a downsized engine but that the CVT would remain.”

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          I understand the engine will be smaller than 1.6L, but does it really matter if its 1.5L or 1.4L? The engines are all turbocharged. They will have enough torque and power, especially if the vehicle is lightweight.

          If the engine is 1.0L, the car could be underpowered, but they won’t use an engine that small if they are targeting the BRZ/FR-S

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I read it as downsized from the 1.6 to something smaller, maybe I misunderstood.

    • 0 avatar

      28, it appealed to me and its rare that a Japanese car manages that. Maybe Carlos is on to something.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    If the back seat would better fit my 4-year old, then I’m very interested. The 1.6 turbo from the Juke would be the right motor, but I guess we’ll just have to see where things go.

    Visually, I love it. But we’ll see how long it takes them to bring it to market and what the production version turns out to be. I’m hopeful…

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Any hopes of a potential FR-S fighter are unequivocally ruined with a CVT-only transmission.

  • avatar
    imag

    The Nismo version I would buy. The standard model, not so much. The fender flares and front end treatment make a huge difference in the massing.

    I hope Nissan builds this. Judging by the reaction on Autoblog, the kids appear to be excited by it.

  • avatar

    The usual thing is going to happen: advertised for youthful buyers, the car is going to be the same mid-life crysis purchase as its rival.

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      Someone once told me you can tell a serious video gamer by their accidental, subconscious misspelling of “crisis”

      Correct?

    • 0 avatar
      Styles79

      I wonder if the whole talking up the youth market thing is just a cynical ruse to get older people into cars. Y’know, get them to buy into the whole “it’s a youthful car, so if I buy it it’ll recover my youth”…..

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        The answer is: Yes

        To me it looks like the love child of a Miata and a Charger, in a good way.

        • 0 avatar
          CelticPete

          That’s the exact opposite of mid-life crisis thinking. People don’t buy sporty cars to be young..

          They buy them because they are like screw it – I am going to die soon enough. So i might as well drive something fun..

          No one think their car is a bottle of oil of olay. They are thinking YOLO.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Bleh, looks like a chibi version of the current Camaro. The kids can have it.

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      To me that’s a good thing. The current Camaro is a bloated hog of a car which is at least 25% too big in every direction…

      • 0 avatar

        +1000 juicy sushi, can’t agree more

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          +2 Juicy Sushi.

          This exterior design manages too be a neater, cleaner, far less bulky design that of the Camaro.

          This is particularly evident when looking at the side profile, where there is far less overhang length & fewer stylized appendages.

          This is the antithesis of the melty, bulbous, or tear drop shapes we’ve come to expect from “sporty coupes OR even sedans,” which has grown really tired whether done by Mercedes, Hyundai or whomever else.

          I love this clean, efficient, non-extraneous yet “of presence” design language.

          It’s the first car design I’ve seen in at least a decade that makes me say “that’s spot on” and they nailed it.

          With all that said, please give it a quality interior with retro throwback dashboard cues like gauges for fluid temps like the 240Z/260Z (real analog gauges & real metal trim accents would be a huge plus, too) give it a proper manual gearbox with hydraulic clutch at least as an option, a back seat that can cover daily driver duties better than the Scion FR-S (i.e. more rear leg room to the point that adults can at least fit back there, and children comfortably so), and give it a power to weight ratio of at least 1 bhp to each 14 pounds of vehicle weight (1 to 12 would be sooo much better), and it will be the first truly worthy vehicle from any manufacturer that successfully captures the best of what Japan (or any nation) offered harking back to the most stellar of the Japanese imports of the 70s.

          Oh, if you make it reliable & relatively easy to tune, that will take it to true collectible and cult status.

          I LOVE this design. PLEASE do not ruin it mechanically by saddling it with CVT or slushbox only, useless backseat, or a significantly underpowered motor, or rental grade interior materials & design as Toybaru did with their teardrop twins.

    • 0 avatar
      Geekcarlover

      Bits of the new “inspired by 1st Gen” Camero, and a roided up early 70′s Celica.

  • avatar
    heliotropic

    Is this supposed to be RWD? Since it was mentioned as competition for the Toyobaru twins that would imply it, but the article makes no mention of it, and the drivetrain config seems to imply FWD.

    Are there any RWD cars with CVTs currently in production?

    • 0 avatar
      Styles79

      I’m guessing it’s actually on the same platform as the Juke and isn’t RWD. There’s nothing in the press release that I’ve read that explicitly states either way.

      If it had the engiine and drivetrain from the AWD Juke I think it’d be a blast, the Juke is great fun to frive.

      I don’t know of any RWD CVT vehicles in production at the moment. The V35 Skyline did have a CVT in the top grade 350GT, but that’s a pretty large transmission.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    What the heck is it with the CVT’s this week? Memo to self; in event of mid-life crisis, go directly to Miata/MX5. Do not waste time on this other junk.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      I’m hoping it’s a Japanese market thing. These are mostly Tokyo motor show releases.

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      The Japanese manufacturers have all been very big into them domestically for about a decade at least, since they offer fuel economy benefits and the Japanese public haven’t been rejecting them for traditional automatics. I think it’s going to be the case going forward, that unless they’re offering a traditional manual, or a dual clutch transmission for marketing reasons, they will always opt for a CVT just because they’ve already embraced that technology so much.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I don’t view the ToyoBaru as retro anything. It looks thoroughly modern. This however, is a throwback in a very nice way. Make it say Datsun on the front, and i510 or something on the back, and sell sell!

    And look at the pillar and the backside!

    http://autolynch.ru/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/nissan-idx-concept-2013-4.jpg

    • 0 avatar

      Looks even less production ready than the side or front. I can see some nice ideas there though. If they tone it down a bit, I could see this selling well in 3rd world countries where small sedans actually have a following.

      Thanks for the link!

    • 0 avatar

      Uhh, just saw many, many pics on a Brazilian site. Pretty cool. The beige one would be the normal one, according to the Brazilian site, engines between 1.2 and 1.5. The one with the number on the side is a Nismo. Don’t get your hearts aflutter though, only 1.6 turbo. Sounds good to me.

      Oh the Brazilian site said Nissan said it’s a 4 seater.

      http://bestcars.uol.com.br/bc/informe-se/noticias/salao-toquio-2013-nissan-idx-freeflow-e-nismo-inspiram-se-no-bmw-do-povo/

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        This would stand out so well from anything else on the road! I’m sure before production it’ll be softened a little. Hopefully they dump the DENIM on the interior. I wouldn’t buy a car with denim in it.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    You know, I’d heard that the youts of America liked the Challenger, and that, young car guys ( a rare bird indeed ) were talking already about it as a more lustworthy vehicle than the alternatives. The body shape and what sounds like a real slug of an engine seems to be an echo of the Challenger. I’m guessing Fiatsler could have a real winner if they could ever surmount the reliability issue (a big if…) – the Challenger is already really cheap to get started.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Are hood mounted wing mirrors up to current US safety regs?

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      Good question. They look awful small, too…

      What’s wrong with real mirrors? I’m not talking 80s Chevy truck style, but something just a bit bigger would be nice. But, then again, I’m not the target audience of this car.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I’m 35 and don’t have any “good memories” of the Datsun 510 in childhood. It was always the Japanese Camaro, for lack of a better stereotype (like the Z often was). I’m older and know better now, but it seems to me that the retro appeal is going to be the same midlifers they claim they’re trying to avoid here (as others have stated above).

    Plus I haven’t seen a 510 in person in years. But the Fiat 500 seems to be catching on, even if there’s no historical reference point for a lot of buyers.

    Nonetheless, I visually like it and am very surprised this had any input from the young kids.

  • avatar
    Zane Wylder

    Dataun Camaro lite, served with the wrong transmission and possibly the wrong drive train. What’s with these manufactureres that use to make some of the sickest cars that go 180 and shoot themselves in the foot??

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    I really like that – would probably buy one as my next commuter ride.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I approve of this and hope more automakers get onto this bandwagon.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Holy Smokes, Batman! That thing’s profile is almost identical to the ’70s Toyota Supra!

  • avatar
    mkirk

    I see more old school Celica than 510 here. Can it accomidate a VQ later in life?

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      Aftermarket maybe, but there is no way it would handle the crash test and safety requirements with a production VQ.

      It’s the same reason the FRS/BRZ accommodates turbocharging in the aftermarket, but is unlikely to have it in production. The mfrs have to leave all kinds of room around the motor for pedestrian impacts, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      I thought it looked like an original Celica too; I didn’t realize it was a Nissan until I re-read the headline.

    • 0 avatar
      Prado

      Agree, before reading I thought it was a picture of the next Scion TC (Toyota Celica). It reminds me alot of that Celica (early 70s through 1977).

  • avatar
    raph

    I like it, they can crap can the CVT and fit it with a proper manual transmission.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    The proportions remind me of the first generation Celica, from 1971-1977. That’s a good thing.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I like it, but the CVT idea is bad. It needs the Leaf drivetrain!

  • avatar
    brianyates

    Has it been in an accident?

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I was hoping this was a new 240SX.

    I am sad.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      Other than the CVT how is this not an new 240SX? If this make it to production and to the US that will be great. And I say that as someone that had a 240SX.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Because it’s a Datsun 510?

        Needs more SR20DET. Or whatever the modern equivalent would be.

        • 0 avatar
          racer-esq.

          It has some first generation Silvia (the original 240SX) in the styling.

          And the 1.6T blows away the old 2.4 in terms of power and torque, even in Juke tune:

          http://autos.msn.com/research/compare/engines.aspx?c=0&i=0&ph1=t0&ph2=t0&tb=0&dt=0&v=t119727&v=t6157

          It also outperforms most of the SR20DET configurations:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_SR20DET

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Then I guess this would be the modern equivalent of the SR20DET.

            But I still would rather have a fastback coupe with a sloped front end and hidden headlights.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Me too. Smaller engine with CVT? Fail! I like the racing version with side exhausts but we know that will NEVER make it to production.

  • avatar
    vcficus

    Looks like they threw a Challenger in a washing machine and got the cycle wrong… it didn’t shrink properly.

    How are stubby cars supposed to appeal to today’s yout?

  • avatar

    For those who think this is a 510 revival, look at the first generation Sylvia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Silvia.

    With the 1.6L turbo, the curb weight will need to be down around 2500. Also like others said, ditch the CVT for a proper 6 speed manual.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    I like the idea of Japan doing 3/4 scale versions of American styling again, but the CVT is always a dealbreaker.

  • avatar
    jco

    i want this x1000

    given the tall-ish profile, I would hope/anticipate a somewhat usable backseat.

    rwd, turbo, probably a manual option with the upgrade turbo motor

    rwd with an inline 4 turbo. i’m repeating that because it’s important

    i think they’ll try to keep the weight down

    i LOVE LOVE boxy styling. i love this. give me the turbo version with the exterior of the non-race insipired version. i see a whole lot of Datsun history in this, but I love the references to the bluebird/510 and hakosuka/GTR skyline. i do like the FRS/BRZ, but i don’t love boxer motors (owned a WRX). and it’s not a real 4 person car. if i want a 2 seater, there are other choices i’d make.

    this checks all the right boxes for me. this is the first new car announcement in forever that i’ve anticipated. the last time i saw something like this, it was the S197 Mustang. and i bought one of those.

  • avatar
    Illan

    it doesn’t say its Rear Wheel Drive or Wrong Wheel Drive(FWD)…

    if its RWD, would this be the 1st RWD CVT application of its kind.

    but judging at the lackluster powertrains…this is FWD

    I was hoping for a turbo 2.5 rwd..oh well

  • avatar
    Zane Wylder

    Not gonna lie, if they offer red and manual, I’ll consider it

  • avatar
    LALoser

    Nissan would sell one to me…1.6 turbo, 6M or 6 dual clutch, if they have an AWD option, that would help.

  • avatar

    I also see 70s-early 80s Celica notch-back in this car design and I owned ’73 and ’80 Celicas back in the day.

  • avatar
    MisterNoisy

    Love it, but CVT only is a dealbreaker. 1.6-2.0T with a 6MT and I’m there literally day one unless they come completely to their senses and offer the BladeGlider with the same 1.6-2.0T/6MT powertrain, in which case, I’m happily knifing my crazy 1+2 through traffic for years to come.

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    Love it, but the transmission is having me do a facepalm….

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    The B&B have spoken. If you want car guys to like this car, it needs a manual. I suspect FWD would then be grinned and beared.

    And by the way, if car guys don’t like it, i don’t see it being much of a seller.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Retro? Barely, I looked up the big press of thing from Nissan and this things pretty far removed from the original 510.

    The old 510 was a cheap no frills lightweight, the closest thing to it now would be a Nissan Versa sedan.

    I don’t really like how the car is literally built to be like a living room on wheels, according to Nissan. That just means that it’ll be more comfy than sporty.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Sadly, as has been clearly demonstrated in the US, “enthusiast” drivers make up a rather small percentage of the buying audience. Most folks that will consider buying this won’t give a fig about a true MT. Perhaps they could take the Fiat 500/Abarth route and offer a top-dog performance variant with only a manual trans. It seemed to work for Fiat, as they sold out the Abarth rather quickly, even though some balked at the “manual only” option for the Abarth. It satisfied the small market for the sports car driver. For the rest, they’ll gladly sell you a Pop/Sport/Lounge. If Nissan would follow this and junk the CVT in the performance version (limited availability) they’d probably do well. As it is, the “cute” sales will be just fine with a CVT…

  • avatar
    tedward

    I LOVE this. The problem is obvious in the comments… Anyone knowledgeable enough to appreciate the 510/silvia/sx heritage cues knows full well how awful the cvt transmission already is. Out scorn WILL keep others away in a segment like this.

    Do it right or don’t bother. Fwd can be justified but never a cvt in a sporting application. Never.

  • avatar
    noxioux

    Note to Nissan: Quit F*ing up your perfectly good cars with that butt-plug CVT.

    I would SOOOOOOO rock one of these, but never, never, ever without a manual gearbox. Darn good looking concept, especially that boy-racer version in the back.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    I’m on my second new nissan. Both are cubes. The first one was a very useful stick. The second is a CVT which I bought against my better judgement so my wife could drive it with a bum knee. Nissan said no trailer hitch or it would void the warranty and no roof rackis available. That means that a CVT necessitated a second car and that is something I had hoped to work my way out of. I think that CVT is short for something that starts with can’t cause it can’t do much. A normal automatic would work better for me.

    BTW it is the best pure people mover I’ve had in a while.

  • avatar
    Vega

    Japanese Lancia Fulvia.

  • avatar
    tklockau

    That is REALLY cool. But when I saw the picture, my first thought was first-gen Celica, not 510.

  • avatar
    stanczyk

    This car is a very good idea ! .. (nowadays, every sports-car form Japan is a good idea.. ! .. because they have no balls anymore to produce sth ‘sporty’ (..yeah, ok.. Nissan with it’s GTR and 370Z is an acception ..)

    .. but this car would need cool-design and at least 250bhp (..not to make the same mistake that Toyota did with their ‘Toyobaru-twins’ (..I heavent’t read or watch FRS,BRZ-test without mentioning that it’s
    ..underpowered !!! …

    ‘Japanese Lancia Fulvia’ – I like


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India