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Nissan Working On An FR-S Competitor

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On: Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 5:08PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Working On An FR-S Competitor

It appears that all the iterations of sporty Jukes we've seen aren't just for fun. They've also allowed Nissan to work on sportier applications of the Juke's components, which should help in the development of a new entry level sports car based largely on the Juke.

Interestingly, the new sports coupe, which Motor Trend calls the Mini Z, won't be a revival of the Silvia/240SX. Instead, it will be an all-new sports car with front-wheel-drive architecture. The car appears inspired by, and will take aim at, the Toyota GT 86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BR-Z.

According to the publication's report, the coupe is likely to share its engine, platform and optional all-wheel-drive system with the Juke. The 190-hp turbo four-cylinder will be a little less powerful than Subaru's 200-hp boxer four-cylinder, but it boasts a wider torque band with stronger mid-range and top-end response. Plus, the Nissan sports coupe is expected to be sold for as much as 10 percent less than the FR-S.

China represents the primary market for the new car, with Japan and some European markets reportedly green-lighted as well. The United States' market is still under consideration.

Oddly, Nissan won't go to usual suspects like the 370Z or GT-R for styling inspiration ... it will go to the Juke. Early reports indicate a uniquely styled sports car that's about the size of the Honda CR-Z hatchback. If Nissan has proven one thing over the years (think Juke and Murano CrossCab), it's that it isn't afraid to experiment with new shapes and styles. We're intrigued, but a little nervous.

The car will be based loosely on the Compact Sports Concept (pictured), which Nissan debuted at the Shanghai auto show last year. It should be a little bit more aggressive and coupe-like than the plain-looking hatchback, however. Expect the car to debut as early as 2013.


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