Nissan debuted its latest concept vehicle today at the São Paulo International Motor Show, in Brazil.
Called the Nissan Kicks Concept, it is the second Nissan design exploration created exclusively for the Brazilian market, following the radical Nissan EXTREM Concept that was one of the centerpieces of the São Paulo show two years ago.
The Kicks name is said to express the concept car’s combination of agility, athletic attitude and tough demeanour, while reflecting a youthful and energetic personality, bringing a sense of exuberance to the streets.
“The new Nissan Kicks Concept takes the Nissan EXTREM from pure fantasy to a market position that is a little closer to reality – and possibly toward a future production vehicle,” said Nissan Brazil President François Dossa.
Its design was a collaboration between Nissan Design America in San Diego, California and Nissan Design America Rio, all under the leadership of the company's Global Design Center in Japan.
“Kicks is intended to be a little more mature and thoughtful than EXTREM. It is fun-to-drive, but also a serious vehicle," said Shiro Nakamura, senior vice president and chief creative officer for Nissan. "It’s designed to be a vehicle that has a eye-catching presence, a vehicle that owners would be proud to own and drive.”
The designers sought out the “sweet spot” between a traditional compact SUV and a performance car... something modern and new, rather than just another sedan with large wheels, a raised seating position and heavy, stuck-on body cladding.
In true Brazilian fashion, colour is a key factor in the Kicks' design. Its primary colour is a shade of grey called Liquid Satin Titanium, but it is accented with a deep Rio Sunset orange on the roof, wheels and other accent areas.”
The concept’s robust persona is transmitted by its proportions, with wheels pushed out to the corners, a high beltline and cowl, full wraparound glass and high ground clearance.
Innovative materials use includes rocker panels with a dark, protective panel similar to the grip of a tool or a cross-trainer.
The Kicks incorporates many signature Nissan design elements, including its V-shaped grille, boomerang lights and wraparound “floating” roof. The shoulder line features a variation of the design found on many of the new Nissan production and concept cars, such as Murano and the Sport Sedan Concept.
Nakamura said, “We are looking forward to hearing the public’s response to the Kicks Concept at its São Paulo debut to see if there is a business case for such a vehicle.”
If there is, given the global nature of Nissan's product portfolio, it's not likely to be limited to Brazil, as Nakamura confirmed. “While designed to reflect the unique desires of the Brazilian market, we are naturally considering if it would meet the needs of urban-dwellers in other countries around the world,” he said.