FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — Nissan took the wraps off its latest concept car, simply called the Sport Concept, which will have its public unveiling this week at the New York auto show.
The Nissan Sport Concept is designed to be an aggressive three-door hatchback with a dramatic interior featuring leather seats with suede inserts. It is smaller than the Toyota Corolla and far sportier, with racy 20-inch wheels and extensive use of lightweight carbon fiber.
Nissan has been focusing much of its attention on small cars — both production and concepts — as it sees the downsizing of the global vehicle fleet as a major trend. Nissan plans to bring a compact car to the U.S. in the near future.
"Smaller cars are much more dominant," said Shiro Nakamura, Nissan senior vice president and design director worldwide, who is credited with establishing Nissan as a design leader. "Smaller vehicles can offer the same interior space and attention to quality of bigger cars but are less expensive and easier to drive. Small cars are clever, and we're seeing new ideas."
Nissan unveiled the Sport Concept to an audience invited to the grand opening of its vastly expanded design studio in Farmington Hills, Mich. The facility is one of six Nissan studios worldwide that competes for company design projects. Ironically, the Sport Concept was styled at the Japan studio.
What it means to you: The Nissan Sport Concept, designed in Japan, looks like it would be more at home on the streets of Tokyo than New York. But it suggests more blockbuster designs are coming from Nissan.