Is the Vmotion 2.0 really Nissan’s sedan design future?
Concept cars are wonderful things. They allow designers almost completely free rein to create automotive flights of fancy, even if there is very little chance of that fantasy becoming a production reality.
Of course, that’s not always the case. Sometimes – think Honda Civic Type R, Audi Q8 – what the auto maker brings to a motor show as a so-called concept is in fact a thinly disguised production model, aimed at providing a tantalising preview of the real thing to come.
The Nissan Vmotion 2.0 is not one of the latter. It is very much a work of imagination, rather than a pointer to production reality. Which is to say that you won’t see one of these alongside the Micras and Almeras at your local Nissan dealer anytime soon.
However, it’s not all motoring science fiction, if Nissan is to believed. Apparently the Vmotion 2.0 provides an indication of what we can expect from the marque’s future sedans – and the technology they may contain.
In South Africa, Nissan’s real strength has long been vested in its crossovers, SUVs and pick-ups. The glory days when our roads were populated with its Skyline, Maxima and Primera sedans are long gone.
Today’s Almera is more of a rental favourite – but things might be different if the compact Sentra/Pulsar four-door was on offer here. Even so, big sedans like the Altima don’t sell in SA unless they’re premium.
According to Nissan, the Vmotion 2.0 is a preview of Nissan’s sedan future in terms of both design and what it calls ‘Intelligent Mobility’ – a vision that ultimately seeks to achieve zero emissions and zero road deaths.
The Vmotion 2.0 is certainly a showstopper: it won the EyesOn Design Award for best concept car at this week’s Detroit Motor Show, and for good reason.
Large but dramatic, with a sleek profile and sharp-edged contours, it augurs well for the marque’s future – especially since Nissan’s current sedan design language hasn’t translated into anything particularly handsome.
The Vmotion 2.0’s lines are crisp and aggressive, with a wind-cheating silhouette promising efficiency and dynamic prowess. Even the colour, described as Silver Copper, is eye-catching, and apparently took more than a hundred attempts to get just right. Pity your local panelbeater if it ever becomes a production reality …
But while the exterior may provide a plausible indication of where Nissan’s sedan design direction may be heading, some aspects of the cabin are pure fantasy.
Outward-opening doors allow pillarless access to the front and rear seats, while a sweeping, seamless dashboard is home to a continuous horizontal display. The extended screen hosts a centralised graphical user interface that allows intuitive access to the Vmotion 2.0’s controls and systems.
The steering wheel is reminiscent of an aircraft yoke to provide and unobstructed view of the display, while the quilt-upholstered seats have a slimline design to optimise space. The rear seating positions are individually adjustable, and carpets make way for striking wood veneer surfaces.
The Vmotion 2.0 is also equipped with Nissan’s ProPilot system which promises autonomous operation in a wide range of operating conditions – a motoring future decidedly unattractive for those of us who actually enjoy driving, but which is being enthusiastically embraced by the auto industry.
So, will the Vmotion 2.0 be the next Altima? Nissan seems to think so – and in markets like the US, where large sedans remain popular, the show car could indeed serve as the inspiration for a future generation of big cars.
From an SA perspective – and for European markets, for that matter – Nissan is likely to remain a primarily crossover and SUV brand. More interesting is the prospect of those ProPilot systems becoming a production reality in future Qashqais, Jukes and X-Trails.