Cars

Nissan, You Blew It Not Making This

Why is Nissan being so stubborn about producing their own great concept cars? Yes, Nissan has been ignoring these concepts that could help them prosper. Nissan has been in the news for how dismal its business is these days. Sales are way down, the product is stale, and it seems in a malaise. 

But, back in 2013, it shocked us all with these two concepts. The IDX Freeflow and IDX Nismo were an homage to the great Datsun 510 sedan. You know, that little sedan from the 1960s and 1970s that is so prized and in demand that prices for them are going crazy. 

Spiritual reincarnation of the BRE 510 sedans

2013 Nissan IDX concept Nismo | 002
2013 Nissan IDX concept Nismo | Nissan

It was also the first of the BRE Racing Datsuns that put it on the map for wins in SCCA racing. Peter Brock fielded a trio of 510 sedans that won the SCCA series in 1969, paving the way for Datsun’s all-new 240Z sports cars that continued the string of SCCA wins. 

So, fast-forward to the 2000s and Nissan-the former Datsun, brings out two concepts based on the 510 Datsun and BRE variant. The Freeflow and Nismo should have paved the way for new Nissan models with some heritage and gravitas. 

The IDX would be like a Toyota 86

2013 Nissan IDX concept Nismo | 002
2013 Nissan IDX concept Nismo and Freeform | Nissan

This would have been a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sedan with a much cheaper price tag than the aging 370Z. You know, a car in the league of a Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ. It could have even stepped in as a cheaper replacement for the 370Z while a new one was being developed. No one says there can’t be a gap in model production.

Rumors say part of IDX’s problem was that Nissan had no place to produce it. But, what about Nissan’s Tochigi plant in Japan? It’s already set up to produce the aging 370Z, GT-R, and Skyline. These are all front-engine, rear-wheel-drive cars. All of them could use a freshening or break from production to rethink what they should be going forward in this electrified landscape. 

Nissan had the forethought to try and play off of its racing successes from back in the day. But, it didn’t possess the guts to actually produce them. While we have been waiting, we have also been waiting to see what new model was to debut to help explain why Nissan shifted development away from the IDX sedans. We’re still waiting.

Since 2013 Nissan very little that is new

2013 Nissan IDX concept Nismo | 002
2013 Nissan IDX concept Freeform | Nissan

In all of this time, almost nothing new has come from Nissan. It makes us wonder why nothing has been happening. Yes, we know about the internal problems with Nissan’s parent company Renault/PSA. And, how Nissan’s chairman Carlos Ghosn has been wallowing in a Japanese prison cell awaiting trial for fraud. But, companies move on during internal crises. They have lives of their own. 

But, not Nissan. It seems to be stuck in a malaise of doing little to keep ahead of the competition. 

The time is now to start developing something enthusiasts would want to drive. The secret of the success of the IDX sedans was their clean and simple styling, and the magic to take us back to taste the successes of Nissan’s past. If there’s a business case for the 370Z and GT-R, there has to be one for a Freeflow/Nismo. Check out these Nissan images from 2013 and see if you agree.


2013 Nissan IDX concept Nismo | 002
2013 Nissan IDX concept Nismo | Nissan