Nissan Qazana Concept

The Nissan Qazana made its first ever appearance at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. Inspired by a simple desire to have fun behind the wheel, Qazana shows that mind-numbing motoring could be a thing of the past.

Officially it's a showcar, a study into how a small car of the future could look. But with the announcement that a small crossover - a baby brother to Qashqai - will be built at the company's Sunderland factory in the UK, Qazana's significance should not be underestimated.

"The Qazana concept is an intelligent, all-wheel drive crossover which is masculine, agile, lean, and designed for the tough city streets. Our team at Nissan Design Europe in London realised this image with the motif of a modern day beach buggy and four-seat motor-bike," explains Atsushi Maeda, Studio Chief Designer, Nissan Design Europe.

According to Matt Weaver, project lead designer at NDE, Qazana was designed to be sophisticated but fun. "It's a hugely optimistic car, which is no bad thing in these difficult times. Had it been created in the 1960s, it would have counted camper vans, bikes and buggies as its rivals. Infused with that same spirit, there's nothing quite like it available today."

In the same way that Nissan re-wrote the rule-book when it introduced Qashqai two years ago, so Qazana is ready to do it again. By approaching the small car market from a totally different direction, Qazana invigorates, stimulates and rejuvenates the traditional town runabout.

Compact overall dimensions (4060mm in length, 1570mm tall, 1780 wide and a wheelbase of 2530mm) mean Qazana would be ideally suited to the urban environment. Yet its advanced specification and energetic styling suggest an ability that goes far beyond the city walls.

By mixing SUV and sports car styling cues, NDE's design team has created a highly individual Crossover quite unlike anything else on the road. The tall stance, truncated rear styling and short front and rear overhangs underscore its feeling of robustness and strength, but the low roof line, assertive side window graphic and broad shoulders hint at a sporting ability absent in traditional all-wheel drives.

At the same time, rounded elements - notably the wheel arches and bonnet - evoke a friendly ambiance and provide a link with existing Nissan Crossovers. Indeed, Qazana has the signature Crossover design detail in the rising window line at the rear, also found on Murano and Qashqai.

The car's face is dominated by four headlamps. Two lower circular lamps set within the bumper contrast with a pair of daylight running strips mounted high on the wings on either side of the bonnet: the look is of a rally car preparing for a night stage.

While the full width grille, dominated by Nissan's centrally mounted badge, is an interpretation of current Nissan styling, its construction is not. A one-piece acrylic moulding, no cooling air can pass through the grille. Instead, the lower portion of the bumper, finished in a contrasting graphite colour, is dominated by a number of large holes for air to reach the radiator. See-through acrylic mouldings are also used for the door mirrors.

The interior has been designed as an extension of the exterior thanks to a clever interplay between hard and soft materials. Rather than being completely enveloped in leather for example, elements of the lightweight carbon fibre seat structure are on permanent view, appearing to have 'broken through' the covering. The centre portion of the backrests features a mesh material, allowing fresh air to circulate around the occupants.

Like the seats, the metal sections of the centre console seem to have forced their way through the leather covering while the internal door-frame is part exposed so that the door pull appears to be hewn from solid metal.

Source: Nissan press

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