You know Southern California car culture is on the radar when Nissan themselves roll up. On a chilly Supercar Sunday morning of February 2nd in Woodland Hills, the marque displayed their latest IDx concepts: the Freeflow and the Nismo.
The Freeflow, with its khaki-and-white paint job, is the more beach-flavored and casual persona of the IDx. Wrapped with stylish lines and trim, its stocky stance is balanced on 18-inch chrome wheels and 195-section tires.
The Nismo is a completely different story. With its sporty black, red and white trim and carbon fiber accents, it is anything but casual. Nismo, the famed in-house motorsports division of Nissan, has paired with its parent company and aims to evolve beyond producing only performance parts, instead integrating themselves fully into the production of future Nissan vehicles.
The result is a futuristic-but-Datsun-reminiscent shape. Sharp angles, a low-slung roofline and side mounted exhaust keeps the surprisingly small car aggressive. Richard Plavetich, the general manager of Nissan North America, who also made an appearance with the concepts, told us that the Nismo will compete with the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ. He estimates the car will have a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, and maintains that the Nismo will have all the best elements of a great driver’s car; it’ll be lightweight and feature rear-drive, a front-mounted engine and manual transmission. Additionally, Nissan plans to offer more usability with the inclusion of rear seats.
These are definitely solid concepts. They have fully functional motors and are completely driveable. However, the alluring romance of concepts themselves keeps some skeptical. Whether or not these two will reach production is up to Nissan, but as far as Erick Sanabria, a California-based FR-S owner, is concerned, the competition is welcome.