After releasing a teaser image of a sports car concept that featured subtle hints of the 370Z and the GT-R, Nissan has finally announced the Extrem Concept at the Sao Paulo Motor Show in Brazil. Given the rapid development of the Brazilian economy and to underscore Nissan’s commitment to Brazil, the all-Brazilian Extrem Concept was seen fit to be unveiled there.
The Extrem Concept is roughly based on the Micra hatch and is designed to look like a cross between an SUV and a coupe, or in other words, a crossover. This particular segment has witnessed rapid growth with the likes of the Range Rover Evoque fueling that growth. Designed by Nissan’s design studio in San Diego, the inspiration for this design comes from Brazil itself where the designers spent most of their time designing and developing the clay models. The usual concept elements include the wraparound glass, floating roof rails, and detached C pillars that enhance the feeling of an open, airy cabin. It would be great if these elements made it to the production version too. Though the pictures suggest less cabin space for storage, Nissan claims that there is a dedicated luggage space in the rear. A clever two-tier system provides secure storage, where items can be hidden from prying eyes beneath an exposed and removable cargo bin which is accessed via the rear hatch. The bin is designed for day-to-day items and fits neatly underneath a structural cross brace that adds extra stiffness to the shell and accentuates the sporting nature of the car.
It sort of looks like a high riding 2+2 version of the GT-R, but don’t expect it to be powerful like the GT-R, though we have seen one example of that! Nissan could theoretically fit the 1.6-liter turbocharged direct-injection inline-four that also powers the unusual DeltaWing racecar, driving either the front wheels or all four through a Continuously Variable Transmission, a favorite addition of Nissan.
The production version of this concept will be sold only in the South American market. For now, people outside South America can only expect future crossover models to extract design cues from this concept.
UPDATE 11/13/12: The Nissan Extrem Concept was undoubtedly one of the highlight debuts at the recently concluded Sao Paulo Motor Show. Today, Nissan gives us the lowdown on what it took to build and create this fantastic concept crossover. Go past the jump and check out the video!
By all accounts, the Sao Paulo International Motor Show doesn’t carry the same prestige as its counterparts in Geneva or Frankfurt, but every so often, less heralded auto shows play host to some pretty interesting concepts. This year’s show in Brazil is no different.
Straight from the fine folks of Nissan comes this pair of teaser photos of what looks to be a sports car. We don’t really know what it is and the Japanese automaker is doing a pretty good job keeping the lid closed, but speculation around the industry seems to suggest that it could be a lite version of the GT-R.
Shiro Nakamura, Nissan’s Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer did a fairly good job with the tease of the concept, saying very little while providing plenty of room for speculation. "The showcar will dazzle on two counts," he said.
“It is a genuinely new and exciting concept, and it will explode with energetic design and impressive color that fully express our impression toward the country."
Looking at the teaser photos - or what very little we can actually distinguish - it looks like there are some elements that have been lifted off of Godzilla himself. The headlights, for one, look pretty similar to the GT-R, as does the front grille. On the flip side, the taillights are completely different from the GT-R, which could very well suggest that this concept could be a completely new sports car that Nissan is looking to build to compete with the plethora of new Japanese sports cars being released these days.
Heck, we wouldn’t even be surprised if this model ends up becoming a Datsun.
We’ll dig into the new Nissan concept and pass along any new information as soon as we get it.
Over in Brazil, Nissan found itself in hot water after one of their commercials directed at Ford drew the ire of the American automaker’s Brazilian arm.
The music-video style parody commercial that Nissan released features two men representing Ford engineers, dressed to the absolute nines decked with gold chains, rings, and fur coats, while sipping champagne and flocked by a multitude of scantily-clad women. Oh, and if you didn’t notice, there’s also a Ford Focus in the background. Yep, a Ford Focus in a Nissan commercial.
While the TV spot isn’t in English, the lyrics, when translated to Portuguese, translate to something like "All the luxury that I got, I got it with your money" and "Don’t weep because you’re paying extra money — your money was well spent, look what I do with it."
Obviously, the whole commercial didn’t sit too well with Ford, who thought that Nissan was sending a message to consumers that the Focus is overpriced in Brazil compared to the Japanese automaker’s Tiida sub-compact (it’s called the Versa in our neck of the woods). While there’s some truth to it - the Tiida is actually cheaper by a little under $2,000 in Brazil compared to the Focus - Ford didn’t like the way Nissan portrayed their company.
Ford’s lawsuit prompted Nissan to pull the television commercial, but apparently, not before the video found its way on the Internet. With the web being a lot more expansive and lenient than any form of medium these days, Ford’s going to have a hard time curtailing the showing of this Nissan ad.