The Nissan MID4 could have been the first Japanese supercar
Whenever Japan has unleashed a supercar into the world, it’s been fantastic. The NSX, LFA and GT-R — all offered something different than the usual European crop of supercars. Nissan had the idea to make something special before any of the other Japanese manufacturers, and it was called the MID4. Redditor AkagisWhiteComet found one of the three prototypes produced here.
Shown at the 1985 Frankfurt motor show, the MID4 concept was designed to compete with the likes of Ferrari and Porsche. Unfortunately, it never got the chance to do so — Nissan killed the project a couple years later after introducing the MID4 II. The 1987 model shown here made 325 hp and 282 lb-ft of torque from a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 developed specifically for this car, named the VG30DETT. If that name sounds familiar, it’s the same engine Nissan used in the 300ZX twin-turbo for the U.S.
The MID4 II was revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show.
The MID4 II got a fully independent double-wishbone suspension up front and multilink strut system in the rear. A new four-wheel steering system (HICAS) still under development by Nissan at the time was added to the first and second concepts. Nissan sourced an all-wheel-drive system from Europe with a 33/67 rear-wheel bias as well to give the car a rear-drive feel while still getting the benefit of power to the front wheels.
This incredible looking supercar never saw the light of day due to high production costs, but the technologies that debuted in it evolved and found their way into other Nissans. The HICAS system was developed further and used in Skylines and Silvias, while every generation of Skyline GT-R used a version of the all-wheel-drive system found in the MID4 also.
One look at the front end and it’s easy to see the similarities to the NSX released a few years later. The question remains: Can we please have a MID4 III Nissan?