Not so fast: Retro Nissan IDx may not see production after all

At last fall’s Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan had a surprise hit in its pair of IDx concepts. These retro, rear-wheel drive compacts got plenty of positive press, and even an endorsement from Jay Leno.

So Nissan’s apparent decision to put the IDx into production was good news, although the celebration may have been premature.

The car’s future is now uncertain, according to a new report from WardsAuto. While there’s no question about the righteousness of the IDx’s styling, what will go underneath it is unknown.

Nissan’s current rear-wheel drive platforms were designed for bigger, more-expensive models, and the company doesn’t feel it’s worth developing an all-new platform for what would likely be a low-volume item.

The IDx isn’t completely off the table, but this issue means it won’t appear in showrooms anytime soon.

It may not sell in numbers great enough to justify its own platform, but with fuel-sipping turbocharged four-cylinder engines and styling that recalls the classic 510, the IDx is ideal for a segment that is expected to grow over the next few years.

A production version would compete against the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S twins, as well as a reinvigorated Mazda MX-5 Miata, and possibly even a sub-Camaro rear-wheel drive performance car from Chevrolet.

For now, Nissan believes its Juke mini crossover can serve as a stand in because of its size, styling, and turbocharged 1.6-liter four.

That seems like a bit of a stretch. Buyers looking for a truly sporty car will have to stick with competitors’ offerings, or find an old 510 to restore.