Shinichiro Sakurai, one of Nissan’s most dedicated employees and the company’s lead engineer, assembled a team in the spring of 1984 to build a completely unique car (Sakurai is the author of the popular Prince model and the original Skyline) – he wanted to add a thoroughbred sports car to the Nissan lineup. A sports car that could compete with an entry-level Porsche or Ferrari.
Thus began work on the Nissan MID4 project, the result of which was presented in 1985 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and later in Tokyo. Despite the fact that Nissan did not have much experience in building such cars, the prototype turned out to be innovative in many respects. Take, for example, the all-wheel drive system, which at that time was extremely rare on sports cars.
In addition, the MID4 received a steering rear axle – in fact, this concept debuted the early versions of the famous ATTESA and HICAS systems, which later appeared on the Skyline GT-R. To test new technologies, Nissan built four MID4 prototypes, which differed only in color and some body details.
But the power plants of the cars were identical – V-shaped “sixes” VG30DE with a capacity of 245 horsepower, the thrust from which was distributed along the axes in a ratio of 33:67 in favor of the rear. The engine was installed in the center – hence the name MID4.
Suspension at MID4 was independent. Front – double wishbones, rear – multi-link. All brakes were disc. Thanks to a powerful engine and an efficient all-wheel drive system, the concept accelerated to 100 kilometers per hour in less than 7 seconds, and a top speed of 250 kilometers per hour.
The design of the concept was designed in the style of sports models of the brand of that time (there are similarities with both the 200SX and 240SX), but someone saw references to the Lotus Esprit and various Ferrari models in its image. After a year-long tour of car dealerships, MID4 disappeared from the radar and magazine pages… but returned again in 1987, becoming brighter and more powerful, and receiving a new name – MID4-II.