Having showcased the Infiniti Q60 and the 370Z Nismo Roadster concepts at the Detroit and Chicago auto shows, respectively, Nissan joined the 2015 Geneva Motor Show with yet another study hinting at a future product. Named the Sway, the brand’s newest concept car is aimed at the compact (B-segment) hatchback market, one of Europe’s most crowded. Nissan says it benefits from the same "innovative design and product planning" that gave birth to the Qashqai and Juke, but the vehicle is far too futuristic compared to the company’s successful crossovers.

Should the Sway spawn a production hatchback in the next few years, the result will slot between the tiny Micra and the Pulsar. With the Pulsar reinvented to take on the popular Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, the Sway might just be a European competitor for the Polo and the Fiesta. Let’s have a look at what is arguably the most exciting hatchback concept car in years.

Updated 03/03/2015: Nissan unveiled the new Sway Concept at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show - offering us a first glimpse at the company’s new hatchback.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2015 Nissan Sway Concept.

Update History

Updated 02/27/2015: Nissan dropped a new teaser video for the upcoming Sway concept car which will be unveiled tomorrow.


2015 Nissan Sway Concept Exterior
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2015 Nissan Sway Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Nissan Sway Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The Sway is emotional, exciting, and bound to shake up the segment, even only as a concept car

"Innovative design and product planning gave birth to the Qashqai and Juke, two of the biggest automotive success stories in recent years. Now the company has applied the same radical thinking to one of the most important sectors of the market: the compact hatchback." This is how Nissan describes the Sway, arguably the most striking concept to preview a small hatch.

Yes, I called a Nissan striking and it’s not the GT-R. Before you say anything, notice the swooping lines, the prominent grille, the massive intakes, and the hockey-stick LED accents that make up the Sway’s front fascia. Have you seen such daring design on a hatchback before? Sure, whatever production car will come from this will likely feature more down-to-earth cues, but I still have to give Nissan credit for going wild in one of Europe’s most conservative segments. The Sway is emotional, exciting, and bound to shake up the segment, even only as a concept car.

Design highlights include brand-new elements, as well as signature details from the Murano crossover. The Sway brings together the company’s V-motion grille, bold contours that start from the hood and trickle into the doors, as well as sculpted rear fenders and side skirts.

A floating roof finished in orange and the massive panoramic glass roof further sets the Sway apart from the conventional hatchback design. Rounding off the concept is a "bluish dawn grey" paint job, which Nissan describes as "a grey with hints of blue which are visible under light", harmonized with the contrasting orange color of the roof, side skirts and front bumper intakes.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,010 MM (157.87 Inches)
Width 1,780 MM (70.07 Inches)
Height 1,385 MM (54.52 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,570 MM (101.18 Inches)


2015 Nissan Sway Concept High Resolution Interior
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2015 Nissan Sway Concept Interior
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2015 Nissan Sway Concept High Resolution Interior
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The dashboard is the Sway’s most interesting detail, particularly because of its gliding wing shape and clean layout

The Sway’s interior is equally futuristic. To ease ingress and egress, the concept car has no central B-pillars, but rear-hinged back doors, two features we won’t be seeing on a production hatchback anytime soon. The white-and-blue dashboard becomes the Sway’s most interesting detail, particularly because of its gliding wing shape (inspired by the IDx Concept) and clean layout. The instrument cluster is as simple as it gets, consisting of only two basic gauges, but that’s because all other functions are available to the driver through the large, trapezoidal tablet above the center stack. The three-spoke, flat-bottomed steering wheel features aluminum spokes, yet another feature we’re not likely to see on a Nissan unless it’s either a high-performance car or an Infiniti.

The lightweight seats have exposed aluminum structures, while the upholstery is a premium suede-like fabric accentuated with "pearl-effect material" and stitching techniques "usually found on luxury handbags." Lastly, the removal of the B-pillar and the use of simple, clean designs makes the Sway’s interior seem larger than expected, given its 101-inch wheelbase.


2015 Nissan Sway Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Nissan makes no mention of the drivetrain powering the Sway, but I don’t expect it to drop a high-performance engine between the front wheels of the production car. Actually, I have a hunch the Japanese will focus on efficiency rather than performance, likely counting on the 113-horsepower, turbocharged, 1.2-liter DIG-T for reduced fuel consumption and emissions.


2015 Nissan Sway Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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A unique entry in this segment, the Nissan Sway is an exciting hatchback to look at. I’m well aware this is nothing more than a study and that the production vehicle will probably retain very few of these spectacular features, but Nissan deserves a big hand for having the courage to roll out a compact hatch as futuristic as the Sway. In a market that’s currently led by the boring-looking Volkswagen Polo, the Sway comes to remind us all that compact hatchbacks can be more than just boxes on wheels.

  • Leave it
    • Only a concept car for now
    • Production version likely to sport milder styling
    • Not coming to the U.S.
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Innovative design and product planning gave birth to the Qashqai and Juke, two of the biggest automotive success stories in recent years. Now the company has applied the same radical thinking to one of the most important sectors of the market: the compact hatchback.

2015 Nissan Sway Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Unveiled at the Geneva Show, the Sway is a glimpse at how a future generation of compact Nissan models might look if the company’s striking new design language was applied to a European hatchback. It is a concept car designed especially to appeal to European tastes: it is seen as emotional, edgy and exciting.

Sway has been designed to shake up the compact hatchback segment, traditionally a conservative sector of the market. With its swooping lines, striking nose, elegantly simple interior and bold use of sophisticated colours, the concept is a daring and emotional design.

There is an overall sense of unity and harmony... but with edginess unexpected in this market segment. The interior, for example, applies techniques more usually seen in industrial architecture such as structural aluminium elements to signify both simplicity and strength, but also the attention to detail and use of colour and materials associated with premium goods.

2015 Nissan Sway Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The exterior, meanwhile, blends four highly distinctive elements - the V-motion grille, floating roof, boomerang lamps and kicked-up C-pillar - to shape a new design signature that has already been seen on the Nissan Lannia Concept that was presented last year in Beijing at Auto China 2014, as well as the new Murano recently launched in the US. The Sway represents the first time this new design language has been expressed on a compact hatchback, while future Nissan models in different market segments in all regions will follow this styling direction.

The Sway’s character line begins with the V-motion grille, mounted low at the front between twin V-shaped quarter bumpers. The grille is the starting point for a bold contour that curves over the bonnet and front wheels before dipping dramatically towards the centre of the front door. It then sweeps upwards towards the rear of the car, giving the side profile an almost sensuous form.

It sits proud of the bonnet before leading into a distinct -and sharp ­- crease down the car’s waistline... a waistline that is pinched by the rising indented triangular sill feature.

Alongside the V-motion grille sit the boomerang headlamps. Usually the boomerang shape is created by the use of LED lamps within a more conventional lamp shape: this time the lamps themselves take the signature shape, while the LEDs within create the impression of a pair of eyes, watching.

The signature boomerang tail-lights are equally dramatic, dissecting the rear three-quarter elements of the car. Twin trapezoidal exhaust pipes emerge from either side of the registration plate housing towards the middle of the rear section rather than underneath the bumper.

2015 Nissan Sway Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Complex rear doors house not only the extended sill and waistline crease, but also the shapely flared fenders needed to cover the rear wheels. An upward flick towards the rear of the glass-line reduces the C-pillar between the door and the floating roof to a minimum. To ease ingress and egress, this concept car has no central B-pillar and rear-hinged back doors.

Another feature of Nissan’s new design language is the floating roof, which is expressed this time by a panoramic glass roof, framed by an extended C-shaped construction running from the A-pillars along the side of the roof to the rear cross link above the tailgate. On the concept car this structure is highlighted by the use of a bold orange colour that contrasts with the blue-grey of the body.

Extra rigidity is provided by a distinctive deformed X-structure in the centre of the roof with the crossing point of the ‘X’ sitting above the front seat passengers.

The glass roof provides two major benefits: those on the inside can enjoy a sense of freedom and space while those on the outside can admire the interior.

Additionally, the Sway is unique in its colour coordination between the exterior and interior.

The exterior colour of the car is "bluish dawn grey", a grey with hints of blue which are visible under light, harmonised with a contrasting orange colour. The sophisticated colour combination fits yet stands out beautifully with the European cityscape.

The interior uses a darker, deeper blue, with high contrasting ivory and orange colours matching the exterior to give a sense of unity to the car.

Inspired by the IDx show car first revealed at the 2013 Tokyo motor show, the Sway adopts - and develops - its interior design concept of a gliding wing shaped dashboard.

2015 Nissan Sway Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The driving force behind the gliding wing shape is its elegant simplicity. The result is an interior in which function takes a priority, and where nothing has been used for mere decorative effect.

Structural elements, for example, are shown as structural elements. The door pulls are designed to be integrated as a part of exposed aluminium struts. Even the three-spoke steering wheel has a ‘back-to-basics’ simplicity, with a squared off bottom section and aluminium spokes.

Just two basic instruments face the driver, with all other functions captured on a large trapezoidal tablet in the centre of the dashboard visible - and usable - by both driver and front seat passenger.

2015 Nissan Sway Concept Interior
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The lightweight seats have an aluminium structure - once again exposed - and are covered in a premium suede-like fabric partially accentuated with pearl-effect material, featuring stitching techniques more usually found on luxury handbags. Colour co-ordination sees the use of strong blue and orange themes inside, complementing the exterior perfectly.

Although a compact car, the lack of clutter, the removal of the B-pillar and the use simple yet elegant structures makes the interior seem larger than expected.

"We believe that the Sway continues our tradition of challenging the status quo in market segments by bringing something fresh, distinctive and striking, much as we did with Qashqai and Juke.

"With this new concept car for Geneva, we are experimenting to see how Nissan might be able to bring fresh ideas to the compact hatchback segment," said Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President, Design and Chief Creative Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Paul Willcox, Chairman Nissan Europe, said: "Nissan is on the move. The brand stands for bold, innovative thinking in the European automotive market - indeed around the globe - and our growth in Europe is led by outstanding new products, which are defined by outstanding design. The Sway underlines how important design is for Nissan in building our brand and driving our growth."

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