Why Nissan’s Invisible Roof Should Become a Thing
Glass roofs and carbon-fiber make up my new automotive fetishby Ciprian Florea, on
The Nissan Vmotion concept gained a significant upgrade for the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, where it showcased a more angular and futuristic take on the company’s current design language and previewed the interior styling we should see in production cars in a few years. The Vmotion 2.0 looks fantastic inside and out and features new "Intelligent Mobility" tech that Nissan has yet to talk about in detail for now. But to me, the concept’s most interesting feature is the "floating" roof.
Built around lines flowing seamlessly from the steeply-raked A-pillars to the trunk lid, the roof design is like a massive piece of glass mounted on a thin structure. The floating C-pillars are carried over from previous Nissan concepts and production models like the Maxima, but there are many details that set this new concept apart. For starters, the line that connects the A-pillars to the trunk lid have a unique carbon-fiber finish with thin silver thread accents. This makes it seem like it’s built under the glass and makes the roof almost invisible. Around back, the Nissan fitted a wrap-around window - something we don’t see on many cars nowadays.
The company’s floating roof is by far the coolest glass roof I’ve seen recently and I think it would make a great feature on production vehicle. The main reason is that I like large moonroofs and the enormous amount of light they bring inside the cabin. If you haven’t experienced that, go test a car with a big moonroof and I bet you’ll never want to go back to a metal top. Another reason is that both the front and rear window remind me of the "bubble top" cars of the 1960s. The 1961 Chevrolet Impala is a cool example and I’d love to see that roof design return into showrooms with a modern spin.
Finally I think that carbon-fiber would be a good solution to strengthen a glass-only roof. Granted, the lightweight material is pretty expensive to use right and wouldn’t make financial sense on non-premium cars, but the technology is bound to become cheaper in the future and more automakers will probably adopt it. Here’s to hoping that the Vmotion 2.0 inspires not only upcoming Nissan vehicles, but other carmakers too!