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The Return of the S16?

I’ll admit I was a little more than disappointed when Nissan initially denied any rumor to the S-Chassis returning as a smaller, slimmer version of the 370Z to compete with the Toyobaru twins.

I never get tired of the S15

Many Nissan fans didn’t like the news that Nissan though of the Juke as a suitable replacement in the subcompact sports car class.

hmmm..

In 1996 Nissan unveiled the Urge, a six speed rear wheel drive roadster that was a few years to late to the game.

With Chevy and other manufacturers clamoring to replicate the success of the lightweight rear wheel drive Toyabaru twins, it only seems logical for Nissan to bring back something that’s long been a staple of their company.

In the fall of 2012, Nissan design director Shiro Nakamura talked Austrailian based automotive magazine Drive and hinted to the possibility of a lightweight rear wheel drive coupe.

Hinting to the possibility that Nissan may consider downsizing its sports cars, including possibly a sub-compact 370Z model got enthusiasts excited. He also revealed that the next version of the Nissan Z may not have a higher displacement motor than the current one.

“I much prefer smaller sports cars,” Nakamura said. “With 370Z, we still don’t know if the next-generation will have a smaller or larger engine.”

Besides the possibility of a smaller engine, Nakamura said reducing the weight of the next Z car is a priority and all other future Nissan sports cars will be lightweight.

As well as dropping hints to the next Nissan Z, Nakamura also spoke about the possible return of the Silvia, otherwise known in the States as the 240SX. Nakamura was notably coy when pressed for details from Drive Magazine, could this really be in the works at Nissan?

“I cannot say,” Nakamura said, “A light, sport coupe is a nice concept, I like it.” he would continue after reinforcing the fact that he was a huge fan of the lightweight rear wheel drive platform.

With the 350Z, 370Z, and the Skyline GT-R, could Nissan support all the different platforms and vehicles as well as possibly add the new 240SX to rival the FR-S and BRZ under the same performance moniker?

According to Nakamura, yes. “If there is a market, we will do it,” Nakamura said.

Rumors are abound regarding the MR engine and many have projected it’s use as a 1.8L powerplant. Question is will that be enough to hang with the likes of the new FR-S, BRZ and STi flagships that have recently been released?

If there’s any clue to the temperature of the “market” and the willingness of Chevy and other domestic manufacturers to join the lightweight rear wheel drive coupe race, we could see the S16 make a triumphant return.

Case Studies : Following the progress of Tomei’s Hyundai Genesis Turbo

My first experience with a Hyundai was when I was a teenager, and my father owned a 1984 white 4door Hyundai Excel. This thing was the epitome of the 80’s econo-crapbox, constructed with cheap plastics and budget minded parts that  translated into a reputation of being notoriously unreliable.

I can remember a time when the word Hyundai would make car enthusiasts turn up their noses and spit in disgust at the Korean Automaker that struggled to make a name for themselves in the US.

While my fathers Hyundai Excel ran for over 400,000 miles on the original motor, for the most part this reputation was well deserved.

Fast forward 30 years, and Hyundai has done a marvelous job reinventing themselves, and while the foray into the sport compact market has netted the Korean automaker less than desirable results in previous years, they seem to have hit a homer with the Hyundai Genesis.

While the luxury sedan has been well received by the automotive press, the coupe (shown here) is powered by the G4KC, a 4 cylinder turbocharged aluminum motor named the Theta.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for 4 cylinder turbocharged goodness!

With the revolution in rwd sport compacts such as the Genesis and the FR-S, RWD sport compact enthusiasts have never had it better!

I will be following the progress of one of my favorite tuners, Tomei and their Genesis Coupe Turbo to see just how it stacks up against some of the classic 4 cylinder turbocharged titans that have graced the US shores such as the SR20DET, EJ25, and my all time favorite the 4G63.

Stay tuned and happy boosting!