As we all know the idea of the IDx has entered into oscilating turbulence
, please buckle your seat belts and place your seat in an upright position, this project is going down. Doubts over the viability and cost of the project have been the brunt of recent IDx news. Truthfully they have a point, 50,000 units is simply not enough to justify a bespoke platform for this project alone...
That is unless they can find a way to amortize the development costs and quick.
The answer we're looking for is potentially going to come from an unlikely source: General Motors.
Let me paint you a picture, just a few days back Cadillac Chief marketeer Uwe Ellinghaus hinted heavily at a sub ATS small sedan based on a truncated Alpha platform:
“My personal crusade is to spare us a **** of a lot of dilution of our emerging brand image by moving to front-wheel drive for potential smaller cars,” he continued. “As you know, the entire competition is moving to front-wheel drive for their entry-level cars. I am under a **** of a lot of pressure, as are [Cadillac chief engineer] Dave Leone and [executive director of Cadillac design] Andrew Smith, because front-wheel drive offers these package and cost advantages. If we are just after the lowest price point possible to enter the category, we would have to go front-wheel drive tomorrow. That said, what is the reason to buy a Cadillac in that segment in a couple of years’ time when all the German competitors will have front-wheel drive? It is that we are maybe—if we are lucky—the only ones left with rear-wheel drive.”
Now where the color starts to come in is when you consider that the Code 130 project was deemed as impossible because GM was having substantial issues shortening the already short Alpha platform, which is one of the prime reasons the ATS coupe shares identical dimensions with the ATS Sedan.
It’s not clear how far along the program even was, but we’ve heard before that GM’s Alpha rear-wheel-drive architecture — despite how it shines in the Cadillac ATS — has limitations in terms of how well it can downsize into B-segment form.
So if GM has now figured out how to circumvent the SNAFU there are tantalizing prospects. For one the sub ATS sedan and potentially an accompanying coupe, second the aimed straight at FRS/BRZ missile known as Code 130.
Now let me bring this babble together. Should GM be able to bring the Code 130 and its Cadillac cousins to market it sets an interesting precedent for Nissan. For one the Code 130 would play in the exact same segment as the IDx, bringing far more validity to that segment than FRS' 18,000 annual sales ever could. More importantly it shows a viable way to amortize the platoform, proliferate it through your lineup.
Could Infiniti not benefit from a sub Q50 RWD sedan and a sub Q60 RWD coupe to fight with the 2 series on equal ground? What about Renault who is actively looking to revive their Alpine performance arm, could they not make use of a small RWD platform?
Point being, its not all doom and gloom, Nissan hasn't been a market leader for some time now, perhaps all they need is a kick in the ass...