December 2, 2011
A Media Center Walk Through Nissan Concept Cars with Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura
Q1. We’re standing in front of the PIVO 3, but a number of models are debuting at the Tokyo Motor Show, can you tell us about them and the special features?
CCO: Let’s start with the PIVO 3. This is the third PIVO we have created, but always PIVO has been intended for city-type commuters. This is very compact — only 2.8-meters long – for three passengers. And if you look at the tires, they have an incredibly small turning radius. It’s less than 4 meters — you can make a u-turn almost anywhere in the world.
Also, this car has a very specific system of an automated valet parking system. You can call (the car) by cellphone, and it will pick you up. It’s very convenient, as you won’t need to go to the parking area. You can call your call at the entrance, or when you finish driving the car will go automatically to the parking spot. So, that is very important.
If you open the door, the car has three seats with the driver in the middle. All PIVO have a center-drive position. This is very convenient, as you can go into the car either way. It’s also very easy to drive as you’re in the middle of the car. This PIVO 3 has a very specific layout, but we have been doing a long time and this has the most realistic solution than the last two cars. The previous one had a rotating cabin, which was very unique and innovative, but this can be produced.
Q2. Let’s walk over to the next car, the LEAF Nismo, and electric vehicles and zero emission technology are a huge part of Nissan’s strategy right now. What are the details?
CCO: This is the LEAF with the Nismo version. It is basically LEAF itself, but the reason we have a Nismo version is that this car is not only environmentally friendly but fun to drive. Therefore, even further away you can see the LEAF Nismo RC racing concept, which is a real racing car. We took some design elements and cues from that Nismo RC. Visually, this has much more spirit (than the original LEAF), and a sportier look, so even more excitement for EVs. We don’t want people to consider that EVs are only environmentally-friendly, but environmentally-friendly and fun to drive and that’s the message of this car.
Q3. The final car is the ESFLOW, a two-person vehicle that is also zero emission. What’s the message here?
CCO: This is a sports car using our technology with a twin motor located in the middle of the body, with a very nice weight distribution. The battery is also smartly distributed in the body, and it’s very (well) weight-balanced. This car has very good acceleration: zero to 100 kph within five seconds, controlled by two motors. This is one of the expressions of EV that is much more fun to drive, and a very exciting part of EVs.
Q4. You are a historian of car design. Thinking about the “muscle cars” of the ’60s or the European models, is this a reflection on the past as well?
CCO: It’s very powerful, very emotional, and you can see from the fenders front and rear. You’re right.
Q5. We’re looking at the Juke Nismo Concept. This is a car that Nismo says may go into production if there is enough interest. What is the potential to see this actually on the road?
CCO: This car is not just a concept. We are serious about bringing it to market, and Nismo is the heart of Nissan’s sporting and racing history and spirit. We want to bring that very sporty racing spirit to the market again, much more aggressively. We want to expand our customers, and this is the start of how we bring Nismo into the market. This is a concept today, but you will see.