Unveiled at the 1975 21rst annual Tokyo Motorshow, the Nissan AD-1 Concept featured mid-engined styling with a cantilever roof design and was based on the F10 1400 Cherry. Uniquely styled, the AD-1 was an aerodynamic compact two-seater coupe with a mid-mounted transverse engine. The AD-1 was constructed similar in layout to the Toyota MR2, introduced nearly nine years later.
Even with only 0.26 Cd, the AD-1 was constructed with the help of wind tunnel research with a view to achieving the best aerodynamics possible. While keeping a compact and economical engine, the AD-1 featured a low drag, allied to the low curb weight of just 740kg. The 1.4 liter overhead valve A14 engine was equipped with electronic fuel injection.
The body sides of the AD-1 was kept free from unnecessary air intakes, while the unit was cooled through long pipes to a small front mounted radiator, while the excess engine compartment heat was vented through grilles in the engine compartment cover behind the rear window. A 5-speed gearbox was also located on the Nissan AD-1. For the time that it was produced in 1975, the AD-1 was quite high-tech for a small Japanese vehicle. McPherson struts all around that featured dual circuit, four wheel disc brakes were the suspension underneath the vehicle.
The AD-1 carried a luggage compartment on the rear of the vehicle as well additional storage underneath the hood and also behind the interior seats. Unlike Renault models of the time, the doors on the AD-1 featured a simple released button with a hand cutout, instead of full door handles. The Nissan AD-1 featured chrome, door mounted mirrors rather than more popular fender mounted mirrors found on Japanese cars of the day. The special cantilever design roof eliminated the need for thick front pillars. The AD-1 also came with a fold down rear window and a lift out roof panel.
The inside of the Nissan AD-1 was also quite high-tech and modern for its time period. The interior featured sport seats that were ‘infinitely adjustable' with ‘an adjuster to alter the angle of the front of the seat squab along with the normal recline adjustor and a separate one to change the angle of the upper half of the backrest and headrest'. Manual winder handles opened the frame-less door glass.
The Nissan AD-1 is almost completely a production viable car, though to most it is regarded only as a ‘styling exercise'. The AD-1 came complete with badges, locks and side repeaters unlike other concept vehicles, which usually left them off to not spoil the lines. The interior looked just like a production model though it lacked the futuristic appearance usually found on most concepts.By Jessica Donaldson