Report: China to get front-wheel drive-based Nissan “Mini-Z,” US may get it

Due to Nissan’s recent success in motorsports, some executives have apparently decided on approving a compact front-wheel drive-based sports car. The new sports car has been reportedly given the internal designation as the “Mini-Z.” Interestingly enough, Nissan’s execs have said that this compact “Mini-Z” will be aimed specifically at the Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BR-Z—despite the fact that the latter is rear-wheel drive.

Hints of such a plan were given at last year’s Shanghai auto show as the Compact Sports Concept. Though specific details about that compact were withheld at the debut in Shanghai, it was learned that the Nissan Juke’s 1.6L turbocharged four-banger was the power source. Expect that engine in the “Mini-Z” except tuned to match the Toyobaru’s 200hp flat-four.

Word is that China remains to be the main market for the “Mini-Z,” while Japan and Europe will be getting small doses—the US is still under consideration. Price wise, the “Mini-Z” will cost near the equivalent of $22,000 US while a debut is expected in late 2013.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: MotorTrend