Silvia project dies in harsh cutbacks at Nissan

The forthcoming Nissan 200SX replacement is the first major casualty of Carlos Ghosn's dramatic cutbacks, a company source has confirmed.

Nissan has been developing plans for a new, compact, rear-wheel-drive sportscar for some years. The Silvia project has been most visible as the Foria (Tokyo 2005) and Urge (Detroit 2006) concepts, but work has been continuing behind the scenes.

Monday's announcement of severe financial difficulties at the company, including a £612m third-quarter loss, also brought news of cutbacks to future model programmes, but it had been assumed until now that the 200SX was safe.

Ghosn wishes to concentrate all the company's development efforts on small and medium-sized cars. This will include an electric Prius rival, due to make its debut next year.

Plans for a big, fast, super stylish Infiniti saloon, using the GT-R platform, to challenge the likes of the Porsche Panamera and Lagonda Rapide have been suspended, but not cancelled.

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