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Tetsu's Tales - Intel

Before Nissan sell GT- R, they had mid-ship sport car project called “MID4”.

Nov 28, 2011

In 1990, Honda started to sell NSX, a mid-ship rear drive layout car with aluminum body and 3.0L V6 motor. Honda was making NSX from 1990 to 2003 in Japan. Toyota and Nissan are selling super sport car (Lexus LFA and GT-R) but Honda has no next gen NSX now; that’s why good condition used NSX is expensive. Honda NSX-R is over $200,000 in Japanese used car market now. NSX-R is very rare car and Honda was selling NSX-R in Japan only. In USA, Honda was selling NSX limited model: “ Alex Zanardi Edition” which had 10mm lowering down suspension, BBS rims, titanium shift knob and no power steering. NSX Alex Zanardi edition is very rare and some rumor said Honda was selling only 50. (In case you didn’t know, Alex Zanardi was Honda’s CART driver from 1996 to 1998.) I think NSX is Japanese super sport car. I am expecting next gen NSX because Honda said they started to develop new “NSX”.

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Nissan’s super sport car is GT-R. Before Nissan sell GT- R, they had mid-ship sport car project called “MID4”. MID4 had mid-ship rear drive layout with AWD system. MID4 project started in 1984, the same as Honda’s NSX project starting year. MID4’s project leader was Mr. Shinichiro Sakurai; he is father of Skyline GT-R. Mr. Sakurai developed from first-gen Skyline to 7th gen Skyline (R31 model) at Nissan. MID4 was unveiled at Germany Motor Show in 1985. Nissan said MID4 was just concept car for the show but MID4 looked like completed car. MID4 has V6 NA motor which makes 226hp/6500rpm and 206lb-ft/4000rpm. The body made by FRP, that’s why MID4 is lighter than MR2 (AW11). After the show, Nissan re-tuned MID4 and organized MID4 test drive day. All of car magazine thought Nissan would sell MID4. Nissan even build MID4 race car for IMSA race. Nissan started to develop MID4-II and unveiled MID4-II at Tokyo Motor Show in 1987. MID4-II has 3L V6 turbo motor, which makes 325hp/6800rpm and 282lb-ft/3200rpm. Some Japanese car magazines tested MID4-II at Nissan’s test course.

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Finally, Nissan cancelled MID4 project. I am not sure if this was because no money or time for developing. MID4 project helped to develop 300ZX (Z32) and Skyline GT-R (R32), but after cancelled MID4 project, Honda unveiled NSX. If Nissan sold MID4-II, the price would be about $310,000 USD. In 1989, one Japanese car magazine said spy shot of Nissan’s test car, which looked like MID4. The magazine said Nissan kept on developing MID4. That was MID4-III. I think MID4 project was totally cancelled because Nissan focus on GT-R now. But I would still like to see a mid-ship sport car battle between Nissan and Honda. Maybe someday?

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Tetsu
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