At the 2010 Paris Motor Show, Nissan has unveiled for the first time a concept vehicle that offers insight into how Nissan could expand its portfolio of zero-emission vehicles.
Called the Nissan Townpod, the concept combines eye-catching design with a spacious and practical interior.
Nissan Townpod provides a simple platform, which each user can individually tune to their own peculiar needs. Be they a musician transporting their kit between gigs, a delicatessen proprietor distributing their wares or an architect carrying drawings to a client, each can adapt the interior of their Nissan Townpod using proprietary as well as third-party sourced accessories.
Externally Nissan Townpod consist of many familiar elements, yet it is different. It employs the same zero-emission technology found within Nissan LEAF. Charging points can be found in the nose behind an automatically retracting cover, which appears to be backlit thanks to its electric blue painted surrounds reflecting subtly off the car’s “Stratosphere White” body paint. Similar electric blue hints are visible behind the door handles, number plate, the spokes of the alloy wheels and within the headlamp pods. The car does not need to shout that it is an EV. It more subtly suggests its ecological and economical credentials.
The headlights reflect Nissan Townpod’s philosophy of stylish utility by serving as position markers when the blue “petals” are closed and headlights when open, while the external location of the pods eases basic maintenance. Similarly, the semi-silvered coating over the indicators is not just for effect. The mirror-like finish turns them into modern reflectors when the turn signals are not in use.
The innovative position of the headlights also allows a coupe-esque bonnet line, not dissimilar to Nissan Z, which feeds in to a visor-like wraparound, blue tinted glass house, reminiscent of Nissan Cube, while the galls to body proportions hark back to the rat-rods of the fifties.
All controls for ancillaries such as climate control and media playback are accessed through two centrally mounted digital screens. The upper monitor serves as an instrument panel, displaying car speed, battery status and remaining range as well as a satellite navigation system. This system is also equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology, allowing it to communicate with the driver’s Personal Digital Assistant (PDA).
Access to the cargo area from the rear is unobstructed, thanks to the ingeniously hinged back doors, while gaping apertures on either side mean that cumbersome loads, or wriggling toddlers, can be placed in the car with ease at the curbside. These ultra wide doorways are possible because there is no “B-pillar” set between the traditionally hinged front doors and the sliding doors at the rear, with the locking mechanism of the former set into the leading edge of the latter.
The rear seat itself has an interesting trick incorporated into its design. While it is not uncommon to find rear seats that slide or fold, enabling passengers to either prioritise leg room or luggage space, the ultra-slim design of the seats means that the rear bench can fold and slide right into the back of the front seats, freeing the entire, flat-bottomed space behind to carry bulky cargo.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]