Preview: 2010 Nissan Silvia (240SX)
This has been a busy week for talk of future Nissan cars, with an all-electric sports car the hot topic. But it looks like Nissan isn't planning to ditch the combustion engine completely--yet, anyway--as reports of a reborn Silvia, or 240sx is it's better known here in the U.S., are once again surfacing.
We brought you a preview of the car as far back as 2007 (pictured), and last year the rumors of a reborn Silvia sprung up again. That time around, the 240sx name was rumored to be put on ice due to the expected 1.6-liter engine under the hood. And while 160sx doesn't necessarily have a great ring to it, the idea of a Nissan sports car designed to do battle with the Mazda MX-5 certainly does.
The latest reports of production possibility don't add much to the pile of existing speculation, but they do hint that rear-wheel drive will be preserved. That might sound like a no-brainer, but in these days of fuel economy and cheap packaging, front-wheel drive is always the default.
One new element in the report is that the 2006 Urge concept's open-top layout and the car that could have been built from it--which may well have spawned the Silvia replacement as well--have been scrapped. That's not especially troubling, however, as it was never very close to reality anyway. The difficulty now is finding a platform that's suitably light and sport with the ability to use rear-wheel drive. Even looking to corporate partner Renault may be futile, as the French brand has moved almost exclusively to front-wheel drive for its production cars.
On the other hand, the validity of keeping the rear-drive layout may be called into question, especially with the Renault Wind, Clio and Megane to work with. Instead of a 240sx revival, we could see a 200sx revival--as in the American 200sx, based on the Sentra platform it its previous incarnation.
Whatever's coming, there's reason to be interested, as Nissan appears to have sport back on its list of priorities, whether electric, front-drive, or rear-drive.