This is an installment in a series of posts looking back on show cars that we feel deserved a little more attention than they got. If you have a suggestion for a Forgotten Concept topic, please shoot us a line or leave a comment below.
First Shown: 1991 Tokyo Auto Show
Description: Midsize premium coupe
Sales Pitch: “Responsible beauty”
First shown at the 1991 Tokyo Auto Show, Nissan’s Tri-X Concept was a rear-drive midsize coupe powered by a 32-valve V8. With the Tri-X, Nissan was testing the market for a luxury coupe to sell alongside its Asian-market performance coupes, the Skyline and Skyline GT-R. As such, the Tri-X featured a leather-lined cabin with four-place seating, an automatic transmission (the Skyline came only with a manual), and a high-tech control interface. (Take note of the trackball-style controller in the center console.) Pitched by Nissan as “responsible,” the Tri-X’s 4.5-liter engine was tuned to run on methanol as well as gasoline, a feature thought to be eco-conscious at the time.
The Tri-X was a fully functional vehicle, but it was never displayed on the U.S. auto-show circuit (note the right-hand-drive dashboard), so for Americans it’s likely more unknown than forgotten.
I can’t decide what I think of the styling here. There’s a lot going on, though I’m pretty sure the ducktail rear-end treatment doesn’t work. While the methanol thing is kind of a yawner, Nissan’s exploration of the premium-car market is interesting.
Remember, it was at this time that Nissan was introducing the Infiniti brand to the United States. Nissan’s nascent luxury division did indeed feature a smallish/midsize coupe at the time, though that car–the M30–looked nothing like the Tri-X.
Concept Car Gallery
(Click below for enlarged images)