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Bad news, vintage Datsun fans, Nissan says the IDx concept won’t be built after all

The Nissan IDx Freeflow and IDx NISMO were some of the best-received concepts at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Inspired by the iconic Datsun 510, both show cars stood out thanks to a retro-styled design, harmonious proportions, and an enthusiast-focused rear-wheel drive chassis.

Surprisingly, about a year-and-a-half ago, Andy Palmer, Nissan’s former executive vice president, announced that one of the two show cars had been given the green light for production. At the time, many assumed the modern 510 would be aimed squarely at the Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ twins.

It looks like Palmer may have been the main driving force behind the IDx. He left Nissan to become CEO of Aston Martin last September, and now the Japanese automaker has confirmed that the coupe will not make the transition from concept to production after all.

Speaking to TheTruthAboutCars, Pierre Loing, Nissan North America’s vice president of product planning, explained that the automaker simply doesn’t have a suitable platform upon which to build the IDx. Using the 370Z’s rear-wheel drive chassis isn’t an option because it was designed for large-displacement engines, and Nissan can’t make a favorable business case for investing in a down-sized version of the platform.

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Nissan’s decision doesn’t come as much of a surprise. About a week ago, Mark Reuss, General Motors’ product chief, announced the Code 130R concept shown in Detroit in 2012 had been axed for good. Reuss pointed out that the baby Camaro was deep-sixed because there is simply not enough demand for a small, rear-wheel drive coupe to justify making the required investment.

While Nissan won’t take on the BR-Z in the near future, Loing hinted the IDx’s 510-inspired design could find its way to a production model before the end of the decade. However, if built, the car will ride on an existing front-wheel drive platform, and so it will not feature the IDx’s gorgeous rear-wheel drive proportions.