Nissan has pulled the covers off its third design concept today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Rounding out the launches of the Resonance Concept in Detroit last year and the Friend-Me concept first seen in Shanghai last April, Nissan’s new and boringly named Sports Sedan Concept has bowed in the Motor City.
Seen as more than just a design study, the Sports Sedan Concept has real potential for seeing its shapes and curves move into production, possibly in the for of the next-gen Maxima. Especially with the same cues mirrored in the other two vehicles, it’s a pretty safe bet this is the design direction Nissan is taking for its mid-decade makeover.
After giving the four-door sedan a chance to soak in our minds, it looks rather good. The sharp, dominating V-shaped grille sits between familiar fish-hook or boomerang-style headlights followed by a flowing, fluid-like motion along the sides, culminating together in a more angular rear trunk lid. A small, black strip visually cuts the C-pillars — combined with the blacked-out A-pillars — make the roof appear to be floating in mid air. The GT-R -esque, steeply-raked windshield rises to meet the steeply-angled roof right above the front passengers’ laps, then continues down and back, ending just behind the 21-inch wheels. It all works together making the car an aesthetically interesting and congruent collaboration of curves and angles.
As said before, the possibilities for the Sports Sedan Concept to see production are high, though not under that vague name. It’s likely to be the next Maxima . Nissan seems to be quite regarding details and specs of the under-body greasy bits, but some experts are reporting the venerable 3.5-liter V-6 will return, as will its current CVT powering the front wheels.
Click past the jump for more details and pictures
Welcome to the new Nissan. It’s fairly certain this new design language will define the aesthetics of the company for the rest of the decade. Swooping line met with angular edges make for a modern, vogue look unlike anything the brand currently sells. We like the look and can only hope the performance bite will match the exterior’s bark.
Nissan hasn’t said much about the interior of the car, but from the pictures, it looks downright amazing. A pistol-grip-style shifter takes center stage on the center console while a rotary knob behind it presumably operates the infotainment system. Above, the infotainment screen and instrument cluster looks like something from the movie Oblivion. The futuristic design is clean and well laid out. Here’s to hoping this moves into production.
The Resonance and Friend-Me vehicles introduced last year gave us the first taste of the new design language. Viewable here all together, the three certainly share commonalities and characteristics not otherwise seen before. Nissan surely has a hit on its hands with the design.
Gallery Nissan Sport Sedan Concept
Advanced Sport Sedan Concept emphasizes next-generation design and sporty style in North American International Auto Show debut
Highly emotional and energetic design direction, including new V-Motion front aspect and "floating" roof, to be adapted to future Nissan sedans and crossovers
Sport Sedan Concept shares stage with innovative IDx Freeflow and IDx NISMO concepts
Complete lineup of current Nissans, along with North American debut of Autonomous LEAF, on display through Jan. 26th at Detroit’s Cobo Center
DETROIT – Nissan today provided an advanced look at its future design direction with the world debut of the Nissan Sport Sedan Concept during a press conference at the 2014 North American International Auto Show. The stunning Sport Sedan Concept embodies a number of next-generation Nissan design signatures, including V-Motion front aspect, distinctive "floating" roof and boomerang-shaped lamps.
The bright "Strad Amber"-colored 4-door sports sedan design study was revealed by Nissan Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura and Nissan Executive Vice President and Chief Planning Officer Andy Palmer. "Our new design direction mirrors the strength, power and capabilities of the engineering and innovation that serves as the foundation of every Nissan vehicle," said Nakamura.
"The Sport Sedan Concept shows a new, highly emotional and energetic design direction that takes Nissan’s legendary approach of applying sports car principles to a sedan to the next level," added Palmer. "The Sport Sedan Concept captures that essence with authentic sports car design and proportions."
The Sport Sedan Concept’s interior also offers cues to future production designs. Premium materials are found throughout, with the use of diamond-shaped graphics on the quilted seats, stitching and panels enhancing the sense of dynamic motion.
The Sport Sedan Concept shared the spotlight with the first North American appearance of the Nissan IDx Freeflow and IDx NISMO concepts. The two IDx compact concept designs offer radically different characteristics, each with their own unique identity.
The IDx Freeflow reflects a casual/lifestyle-focused vision, while the IDx NISMO previews an ultra-sporty model of the future that looks as if it came directly from a driving simulator. Both were developed using a new "co-creation" product development approach that integrates input from consumers early in the process. The process is designed to appeal to "digital natives," the generation born after 1990. Nissan designers believe this approach could have real applications in the near future.
"IDx NISMO and IDx Freeflow show how Nissan is using new and innovative product development methods to meet the needs of younger customers who have novel, exciting ideas, and engage with them to build the cars they want," said Nakamura.
Also making its first North American auto show appearance in Detroit is the Nissan Autonomous LEAF prototype. Based on the all-electric Nissan LEAF, the vehicle is equipped with cameras, laser scanners and radar – which identify nearby pedestrians, traffic lights, traffic signs and other objects. The data is processed by an onboard computer that makes decisions that are implemented with automatically operated controls for the vehicle’s acceleration, handling, braking and more.
The Nissan Sport Sedan Concept, IDx Freeflow, IDx NISMO, Autonomous LEAF and the complete lineup of 2014 Nissan cars, crossovers, trucks and SUVs will be shown at the Nissan display at Detroit’s Cobo Center during the run of the 2014 North American International Auto Show, January 18 through 26.
About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the Americas media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 236,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.
For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.