“We call it Baby Beast,” said Robert Bauer, Senior Design Manager for the project at NDA. “We see it as an urban rally car, a tough little street fighter that can handle the urban jungle with agility and confidence.” The EXTREM was designed by Nissan Design America (NDA) in San Diego, California, in collaboration with Brazilian designers and produced in Brazil. The clay and digital models were developed in São Paolo. While it has all the traits of a compact SUV, Nissan prefers to call it a new genre of urban compact sports car with versatility, toughness as well as the agility of a compact 2+2.
“Brazil is a country of great natural beauty and it has a passionate, rich culture. But this is not always reflected in the cars on its streets, especially the more affordable locally produced vehicles which tend to be conservative in design, color and specification,” said Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer.
“EXTREM, with a dynamic, high-character design, is far from conservative. It was created to appeal to the country’s growing band of city-based young professionals who are passionate about design and want to make a personal statement. The lightweight two-door 2+2, has a dynamic stance, fresh surfacing, and a clear rugged ability to tackle the urban jungle everyday,” he added.
Built on the versatile V-Platform ( Nissan Micra, Sunny ring a bell? ) and powered by Nissan’s advanced direct injection and turbocharged (DIG-T) 1.6-liter gasoline engine which shares its technology with the powertrain in the DeltaWing Le Mans racecar, the EXTREM is a ‘sweet ride’.
The exterior is clothed in what Nissan calls ‘Solar Cortex’ body color, a deep metallic orange with radiant highlights, which Nissan says pays homage to Brazilian nature. Brightly colored accents on the gas caps, tow hook and wheels provide ‘pops’ of energy. The roof pattern, a mix of gloss and matte textures, is inspired by iconic Brazilian graphics.
Wraparound glass, floating roof rails and detached C pillars make the cabin feel open and airy. The roof rails incorporate cleats to carry load. Nissan has for the first time introduced see-through A-pillars that greatly improve visibility, maybe a hint at the crowded streets of Brazil?
Nissan has designed two-tier system that provides secure storage at the rear where items can be hidden from prying eyes beneath an exposed and removable cargo bin. EXTREM could also be offered with a choice of front or four-wheel drive with Torque Vectoring for enhanced handling capabilities.
“EXTREM suggests that exotic and exciting design need not just be reserved for expensive cars. It shows that innovative, sophisticated design can be made in a clever, attainable way. EXTREM is one of our answers to this possibility and it opens an exciting new chapter in our design relationship with Brazil,” said Nakamura.
As with most concepts these days, the Nissan EXTREM will be again ‘strictly a concept car with no immediate plans for production, elements of EXTREM’s styling offers a glimpse into future Nissan products, for Brazil and beyond.’