Why Nissan Has Dropped the Q50 Eau Rouge and IDx Projects

Why Nissan Has Dropped the Q50 Eau Rouge and IDx Projects 1 photo
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New reports have begun to emerge suggesting that Nissan is about to drop two of the most promising projects it has undertaken in recent years - the Q50 Eau Rouge performance sedan and the IDx concept, which was supposed to preview a budget sportscar with a retro twist.
Since both are aimed at the keen driver, the news saddens us, but it's hardly surprising considering the forces acting against both sportscars are compounded. For instance, the Q50 Eau Rouge has been designed to be a super sedan with a limited production run and a high price of $100,000. And even though this M3 fighter would cost as much as an M5, Nissan would actually still be losing money on every unit.

The Infiniti brand has tried before to raise awareness by linking F1 and its road cars. In 2012, they introduced the FX50 Sebastial Vettel special edition costing £100,000. We'd argue that it was never successful because it failed to grab headlines, win track comparisons and give you that "oh, Infiniti makes awesome cars now."

It's not all bad news though. At the Detroit Auto Show, we heard the same rumor about the Eau Rouge's demise and we think Nissan was spreading it to attract attention to their new plans. Under the bonnet of the sexy Q60 preview coupe concept was a brand new 3-liter twin-turbo V6 engine. No, they wouldn't tell us how much power it's got, but it's likely at least 400 hp, more than enough to challenge the sportscar establishment.

Automotive News
has linked the fact that Nissan remained silent about the IDx and Eau Rouge in Detroit with the departure of two major executives, Andy Palmer who left for Aston Martin and Johan de Nysschen who jumped ship to Cadillac. These two were behind the push for the cars and their departure could have added to unrest within the development teams.

Palmer was a strong supporter of the compact IDx sportscar, believing that a back-to-basics car would be great for attracting younger buyers. Some called it Nissan's Toyobaru, but from the beginning we were critical of the fact that engineers wanted to offer it with a CVT gearbox and one of their 1.6-liter turbo engines.

Another car designed for the scrapper is the BladeGlider, which frankly we're not surprised about. Inspired by the Le Mans delta-shaped prototypes they fielded last year, it was supposed to make it into production as an EV. Not a tear is being shed…
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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