Wednesday, November 17, 2010

2010 Los Angeles Auto Show Nissan has unveiled a concept

At the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, Nissan has unveiled a concept design that points the way toward some of its next-generation sedan models—even though Nissan swears that its Ellure show car is not “intended as preview of any upcoming production model,” in the words of Shiro Nakamura, Nissan’s chief creative officer.

Instead, it’s “an expression of [Nissan’s] long-term vision for the next generation of sedans,” and one that has “an emotive, almost hidden ambience that comes to life after dark” despite the sedan’s “unmatched daytime functionality.”

Nissan has a long history of doing compact-to-midsize sedans right in broad daylight, with its sporty Altima family. In a market where sedan buyers have migrated to crossovers, the Ellure five-passenger sedan could help attract sedan shoppers back--to a design that's potentially more fuel-efficient.

At 190 inches long, 72 inches wide, and 57 inches high, the Ellure is about the same length and width as the 2011 Nissan Altima, though it's several inches lower. Preview of Nissan’s own hybrid
More seriously, the Ellure’s proportions accommodate a “next-generation hybrid powertrain” that mates a 240-horsepower supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to a 25-kilowatt (35-horsepower) electric drive motor with a clutch on either end.
The drive motor is mounted between the blown engine and a Nissan Xtronic continuously-variable transmission (CVT) that powers the front wheels.

What a concept--a concept car, unlike so many these days, that is not a thinly veiled production car but a showcase for future design studies.

At least, that's what Nissan Design America vice president Alfonso Albaisa told AutoWeek during an unprecedented sneak peek last August at the Ellure concept, which makes its official debut at the Los Angeles auto show. He called it "a serious car but not a production car."

Albaisa calls the slippery shape the "aesthetics of efficiency," enhanced by 20-inch wheels with acrylic spokes that add the impression of depth while letting air stream past.

Albaisa calls it a tech-driven, eco nightlife experience. The Ellure might be a concept, but, Albaisa warns, "it's not blue sky." Expect future Nissan sedans to incorporate many of these features.

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