Japanese Cars From the Fringes of the Detroit Auto Show – Day 3 Round Up

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Today is the third and final day that we will be breaking news on the Detroit Auto Show. The final press-exclusive unveilings have all gone off without a hitch, and soon the auto show will be opened up to the general public.

As you continue reading, we’re going to cover four Japanese cars that almost fell through the cracks… These cars didn’t get much press because they’re either not first-time world premieres or they’re not relevant to a global market. But, since we’re dedicated to keeping the Japanese car enthusiast fully informed it’s important for us to cover the wayside vehicles, too.

Nissan’s “Guilt Free” Sports Car Concept

To be fair, this future concept doesn’t actually exist yet, but this is the first time we’ve heard that Nissan has definite plans to create an eco-friendly sports car targeted towards a younger audience. It’s something that we know Nissan has been thinking about for almost 7 years, so keep your eyes open for this over the course of 2013.

Nissan didn’t give us much more than that, but it did say that the “love it or hate it” sports car will sit between the Nissan GT-R and Nissan Z coupe in the model lineup. Let’s just hope it doesn’t look like this.

Source: Car and Driver

2014 Nissan Versa Note

Again, this vehicle didn’t get very much press because it’s technically only new to the US market. The rest of the world has been enjoying an almost identical vehicle – named just the Nissan Note – for about a year now. The US-exclusive Versa model is intended to bring the American market a budget-friendly version of the internationally successful Note.

The semi-new five-door 2014 Versa Note will be based on Nissan’s existing “V” platform used in the Versa sedan, and will start at a little over $14,000. Overall, skepticism is high for this vehicle because of a supposedly poor interior design and a price point that puts it too close to the Honda Fit. That being said, the Nissan Versa lineup sells fairly well in the US, so the press could definitely be proven wrong.

Source: Car and Driver

Acura RLX

The Acura RLX officially premiered at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, so it’s no surprise that this vehicle didn’t see very much coverage. However, the only reason that Acura brought the RLX to the Detroit Auto Show was to drum up some pre-release hype and announce a launch date/pricing for the Japanese manufacturer’s new flagship sedan. And that’s exactly what they accomplished.

While the Acura RLX may not be quite as newsworthy as the other vehicles in its class at the Detroit Auto Show like the Lexus IS and Infiniti Q50, it is more directly relevant. The new RLX will officially hit the market on March 15 with a price tag between $40,000 and $61,000 depending on just how fancy you want to get.

Source: Carscoop

Daihatsu Copen (Maybe)

The Japanese-exclusive manufacturer Daihatsu allowed Aisin (a transmission manufacturer) to bring what appears to be a Copen to the Detroit Auto Show. Unfortunately, coverage of this super compact vehicle known for its forward design and extreme fun-factor was limited to a photo that looks like it was taken by an iPhone.

It’s a mystery why a Daihatsu Copen would make an appearance at the NAIAS, as Daihatsu is officially withdrawing from the European market at the end of this month and production of the Copen ceased during April of last year. It’s for this reason that I would be willing to bet that the doorless “Copen” we saw at the NAIAS was actually a concept for the 2013 Daihatsu D-R that we know is in the works. This seems especially likely since the enormous LCD screen matches what we know about the D-R.

But if they did resurrect the Copen, there would be no complaining here!

Source: The Truth About Cars

Well, that’ll wrap up our thorough coverage of Japanese cars at the Detroit Auto Show. Come back tomorrow for a summary look back at the big hits and big letdowns of the Detroit Auto Show that you won’t want to miss!

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