automotive.comĀ®...where your car search begins

Nissan IDx Freeflow and IDx Nismo Debut

Does the world need this BRZ rival? Yes. Yes, it does.


2014 Nissan 370Z Research Click to hide

What's New

Before the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan's Andy Palmer was asked if the company had considered building a Subaru BRZ competitor. Palmer replied that we ain't seen nothin' yet. We thought he was talking about the BladeGlider. Instead, he was talking about the IDx Freeflow and Nismo concepts, which are evocative of the sportiest Datsun 510 coupes of the 1970s.

Purely conceptual at this point, the IDx concepts signal what could be coming to slot underneath the next Z sports car. Positioned as a car for young enthusiasts who enjoy driving, the potential exists that this sports coupe could be a budget-priced track toy, much as the Miata and BRZ are and as the 510 was to its BMW 2002 back in the day.

Who It's For

Adorned with denim seats, the IDx Freeflow is seen as a back-to-the-basics sports coupe for free-thinking young people. A four-passenger car, it would likely have a 1.2- to 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and be aimed at style-conscious urbanites. The IDx Nismo would likely share the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder with the Nissan Juke that produces right around 200 horsepower. Given the car's light weight and no-nonsense functionality and paired with a CVT that has six selectable "gears," the IDx Nismo ought to be one sporting beast. We imagine a six-speed manual could also become part of the package.

Key Features

Rear-wheel drive and tiny, the IDx concepts are equipped with:
  • 18-inch wheels for the Freeflow and 19s for the Nismo.
  • More classic lines for the Freeflow versus the modern, sportier design for the Nismo.
  • Denim seats for the Freeflow; racing buckets in the Nismo.
  • Small four-cylinder engines paired to continuously variable automatic transmissions.

What We Think

Perhaps this comes as no surprise as someone who's looking at getting a Datsun 510 eventually, but I'm of the firm opinion that this car needs to be built yesterday. It's perfect, sans being shown with just an automatic transmission. It's absolutely what young enthusiasts need, giving a decidedly different approach to the Subaru, Mazda Miata, or a used (read: expensive) BMW.

Nissan has said that it wants to expand the fun options it provides drivers throughout its lineup. We know Nissan is bringing out a next-gen GT-R at more than $100,000. We know a new Z car is on its way at probably around $40,000. If this car were to come in around $25,000 or less, it would be to the joy of many drivers around the world.

So build it, Nissan. This car was the star of Tokyo. It will be one of the stars of Detroit. It would be the star of many a reasonable dream car list, too.

Back to Auto Show Coverage: Detroit 2014