Many Nissan enthusiasts regard it as a great loss that the Mid-4 concept of the late 1980’s never reached production, despite extensive development and some very favourable reviews in the media. However, the Mid-4 wasn’t Nissan’s only still-born mid engined sports car. A Decade earlier, in 1975, the Nissan AD-1 had gone on public show for the first time at the 21st Tokyo Motor Show. The AD-1 was a neatly styled, aerodynamic little two seater coupe with a mid mounted transverse engine, similar in layout to Toyota’s MR2 which wasn’t launched until some nine years later.
The AD-1 was styled with the help of wind tunnel research with a view to achieving the best aerodynamics possible, something they achieved admirably with a mere 0.26 Cd, remarkable even by todays standards. The low drag, allied to the low kerb weight of just 740kg, would have helped the car to give quite lively performance whilst still retaining a relatively small and economical engine.