Initial reports stated that the Toyota/Subaru FR sports car would enter the market in early 2010, but that has since been put back to 2011.
The biggest news is that Nissan are aiming to beat Toyota and bring their new FR sports competitor to market in the latter half of 2010. Nissan have acknowledged the lack of an entry level sports car to appeal to younger buyers and this new FR based coupe is being designed with “enjoyable handling” in mind to keep them from turning to other manufacturers. The size of the car closely resembles the previous S15 Silvia, the new FR coupe’s dimensions being 4350mm in length, 1750mm in width and with a wheelbase identical to the the new Fairlady/350 Z platform of 2550mm. As with the Toyota/Subaru sports car, the new Nissan compact FR sports coupe will attempt to keep weight at a minimum, although the extent of which is unknown at present.
It’s possible that a 2.0L NA engine with a higher output will power the compact FR sports car range, with totally new 1.6L or 1.8L direct injection turbo engines also being considered for the task. The smaller capacity turbo engines are looking favorable at this point, largely due to the inclusion of Nissan’s VCR (Variable Compression Ratio) Piston-Crank System which will improve fuel economy - like that of a small capacity NA engine around town - and also provide high power when needed. The VCR equipped 1.6L turbo engine was mentioned along with the Roundbox concept at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show so it could very well make it into the compact FR sports coupe. Best Car calculates that around 150ps will be available in high compression mode, with anything up to 225ps in low compression turbocharged mode.