The 3-Series is now bigger than ever before, and while the base car is still relatively affordable for what it offers, it’s still not enough to stave off new entry-level luxury sedans. Though Nissan didn't reveal the concept's powertrain in Shanghai, we've learned it was fitted with the 190-hp, 1.6-liter turbo-four from the Nissan Juke that also served as base for the engine in the DeltaWing.
Though the engine gives up some power to the 200-hp flat-four in the Toyobaru, it's said to have a wider torque band with stronger mid-range and top-end response. Rumors are suggesting that the plan is to use Juke's platform, and the project is being called "Mini-Z".It would almost certainly be front-wheel or all-wheel drive. That would help differentiate it from the BRZ/FR-S, but would certainly turn off those of us with sportier intentions.Nissan's 190-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo was underhood in the concept.
Notably, the project is a joint Japan-China effort, with Japan doing the heavy lifting in terms of development and China handling design and data assembly. China will be the car’s main market, and it will also be offered in Japan and Europe. A decision on U.S. availability has not yet been made. Development on the Mini-Z is well under way, with a launch possible as soon as late 2013. Look for a base price of under $22,000.