The Nissan Kicks Surf Concept is a Shower on Four Wheels
Funky takes on the Kicks can only last so long, Nissanby Kirby Garlitos, on
The Nissan Kicks has taken on many different forms since it made its debut at the 2014 Sao Paulo International Motor Show. It served as the production replacement for the Nissan Juke. It has appeared at the SEMA Auto Show as a mobile sound machine. Now, it’s headed to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show with a shower system in tow. The Kicks’ latest alter ego is called the Surf Concept, and, as you might expect, it’s very existence is tied to the world of surfing. The Nissan Kicks Surf Concept is the brainchild of Nissan and brothers and surging champions Alejo And Santiago Muniz. It boasts a lot of unique features, none more intriguing than the availability of a shower system that allows you to freshen up wherever you are. There’s no word on whether the Kicks Surf Concept will hit production, but given the real-world feasibility of its features, don’t expect to see it in any of Nissan’s dealerships anytime soon.
What Makes the 2019 Nissan Kicks Surf Concept Special?
I was programmed to prepare for anything that Nissan did with the Juke crossover when it was around. But now that the Juke’s gone, it does look like I should expect the same thing from its successor, the Nissan Kicks. To be fair, those expectations are low-hanging fruit. When Nissan decided to replace the Juke with the Kicks, it was only a matter of time before the automaker went nuts trying to find different purposes for its new crossover. We saw a taste of it with the Nissan Kicks Sound Machine at the 2018 SEMA Auto Show, and, now, we’re getting a second serving of the curiosity with the debut of the Kicks Surf Concept at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.
Given its name — Kicks Surf Concept — it’s easy to pinpoint the niche that Nissan is targeting with the Kicks Surf Concept. The fact that it tapped brothers and surf champions, Alejo and Santiago Muniz, to help develop the concept slams home that point. This new iteration of Nissan’s award-winning crossover is primarily for surfers, adventure-seekers, or, as Nissan puts it, “those in search of the perfect wave.”
On the surface, the concept’s colors carry that theme effortlessly.
Nissan dressed the crossover in a shade of blue and green that does look a lot like ocean water.
There are graphic details on the body of the crossover that represent ocean waves. I don’t see it, but that’s fine. I do like the bright yellow and green accents, which you can see in the side skirts, door handles, and roof of the crossover. At the very least, they make the Kicks Surf Concept look colorful. Up top, there are cross boards for carrying surfboards. No surprises there. Changes were also made to the rear deck of the crossover for wetsuits and whatever useful accessories are needed for life in the sand and seas. Inside, there’s blue stitching and not much else.
None of these details, though, can compete with the Kicks Surf Concept’s crown jewel: a portable shower system. Oh, yes.
This concept doesn’t have an elaborate sound system like the Kicks Sound Machine that we saw at SEMA, but it sure does have a place for your hygienic requirements.
Nissan didn’t elaborate on how the shower system works, but according to John Sahs, who led Nissan’s design team in the project,” the shower system is the “perfect ally for the lifestyle and needs of surfers.” That’s great, John. I wish you could’ve expounded on that further.
In any case, Sahs is right about one thing.
A portable shower system is a tremendous feature to have in a car, even if it’s not necessarily one that targets surfers and adventure-seekers.
It’s just too bad that the thought of having one in a Nissan isn’t going to happen, at least not anytime soon. That’s the big issue with the Kicks Surf Concept. It’s intriguing on the surface, but when you peel away its layers, it’s really just a showpiece concept in the same exact vein as the Kicks Sound Machine that we saw at SEMA.
It may accomplish the goal of getting young buyers interested in the Kicks, but there will come a point where Nissan needs to realize that quirky concepts like this that have no discernible real-world function have the equivalent shelf life of a one-week-old loaf of bread. It’s cool to look at now, but when it comes to actually buying the Kicks, people will end up having different expectations of what they want, and what they end up getting.
Read our full review on the 2018 Nissan Kicks.