Nissan’s rear-wheel drive retro runabout IDx concept gets the green light for production

Two unexpected stars of the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show were the Nissan IDx concept twins, a pair of retro compacts designed for younger buyers.

If you saw their boxy ’70s styling and said “I want one,” you’ll be pleased to know that Nissan is thinking about putting the IDx into production.

Nissan debuted two versions of the IDx in Tokyo: the sporty IDx NISMO and the somewhat hipsterish IDx Freeflow.

At the 2014 Detroit Auto Show – where the two concepts were also displayed – Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer told Australia’s GoAuto that the car will go into production in the next two years as part of the company’s “midterm plan”, but that only one version would get built.

Palmer also told Autoweek that the IDx is in “the first stage of the development process,” and that Nissan is trying to flesh out the car’s business case.

A production IDx would slot below the 370Z in Nissan’s lineup, essentially taking the place of the old 240SX. Like that car, the IDx is rear-wheel drive, making it a worthy rival for the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S twins and the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

That classic, three-box styling would certainly set the IDx apart. While it may make the concepts look like reincarnations of the Datsun 510, Nissan says the look was simply an attempt at a clean, no-frills design that would appeal to young buyers searching for “authenticity”. Yeah, sure.

A production version would probably be powered by a small four-cylinder engine; a performance version could make use of the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-banger found in the 2014 Juke NISMO RS crossover.

The IDx could be a very smart move for Nissan, giving fans an affordable rear-wheel drive car that could be loads of fun and stylish. Hopefully the company’s plans won’t change.

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