Nissan has used the celebration of the 20th anniversary of its European design studio in London to unveil its Concept 20-23 model, which was floated down a canal on an electric barge. According to Matthew Weaver, vice president for design at Nissan Europe, the concept was a passion project that brought together multiple generations of designers in the studio but also combined physical with virtual.
The physical was the exterior, but the darkened windows hide the fact that the interior remains in the virtual world inside the design studio. Although it might only be visible on a screen or through a VR headset, the interior is no less sporty and fun than the exterior.
Entry is by two scissor doors that hinge upward from the base of the A-pillar, and the sporty theme continues with a brace bar that runs across the door openings. The bar is covered in foam padding to protect elbows, requiring the driver and passenger to step over it to reach their seats, much as they would when climbing into a race car. Two deep bucket seats are trimmed in a near-white finish, with a large head support again showing the racing car inspiration.
Once in position, the driver is greeted by a long extended steering column that culminates in a rectangular sports steering wheel adorned with multiple controls and adjustments. Paddles to adjust the electric powertrain performance and additional switches are within fingertip reach behind the wheel.
The steering column is supported by a carbon-fiber mount, which is itself bolted into position from the base of the large, open aperture that makes up the center console.
Between the two occupants, two metal beams hold the center console in position and are bolted to the ‘spine’ of the car that appears from the floor. A fire extinguisher is mounted beneath the two brace bars.
The interior of the Concept 20-23 is a futuristic interpretation of a racing car’s bare functionality, with just a couple of screens displaying vital information with minimal distractions – a reflection of how real racing cars inspire online racing simulator setups.
“It’s a fitting celebration of 20 years of Nissan Design Europe, where bold ideas have taken shape and come to life!” said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president for global design at Nissan.
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