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Mini-370Z? Nissan Reportedly Working On Juke-Based Sports Car

nissan compact coupe concept002

Recently, word broke that the next-generation 2015 Nissan 370Z will be a dramatic update. The report stated that Nissan is looking to keep the car’s size in check, while dropping weight and adding “mainstream appeal.” That could include the addition of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine instead of the 3.7-liter VQ V-6 in the current car.

Apparently they are jealous of all the attention models like the Scion FR-S and Subaru BR-Z have been getting. Rather than trying to mold the Z into that kind of a car though, what about introducing a smaller sports car? According to Motor Trend, Nissan has approved a new project, known as the “Mini-Z.” Nissan’s two sports cars, the Z and GT-R (you think?), are definitely out of reach for most younger buyers.

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A sporty new coupe/roadster could add some excitement to the lineup. To save costs, MT reports that the new coupe will be based on the front-wheel drive Juke. With a FWD basis, it will be at a distinct disadvantage versus the rear-wheel drive Toyota/Subaru/Scion cars. With the Juke’s all-wheel drive system fitted, it could be a more even comparison. Juke basis means it will be getting that Nissan’s 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 190 horsepower. The car is reportedly being developed with an emphasis on China and other emerging markets, but we would get it in the United States as well.

Introduction of a new sports model was supposedly previewed by the Compact Sports Concept from last year. Pictured, that CSC isn’t quite what we had in mind in terms of “Mini-Z.” But, on its way to production the new coupe would reportedly eschew the CSC’s hot-hatch look for sportier, funkier proportions. Nissan does funky well, so the end result will be something interesting to watch. Juke is a great basis for a small sports car; it actually handles quite well. The new sports car is said to be far along in development, with a launch coming as soon as late next year.