Wednesday, November 17, 2010

LA Show 2010: Nissan's Ellure Sedan Targets Sophisticated Female Eco-Rebels [52 Photos]

Besides dropping its Murano CrossCabriolet at this year's LA Auto Show, Nissan has also brought the Ellure concept. Nissan says the Ellure represents Nissan's commitment to the sedan segment, but not any particular upcoming model. If anything, take this as a 4-door design exercise that's "an ideal fit for the needs of its [potential] projected owners, women in their '30s and '40s with a sense of sophistication and rebellion."

The Ellure gets its "aerodynamic" on thanks to an underbody pan, covered 21-inch wheels covered with clear plates, and those sinuous curves. Also, the grille is inspired by a formal samurai coat, or Kamishino, while the rear takes cues from the Torii gates found on Shinto shrines (Nissan/Infiniti has been really good lately about integrating Japanese culture into their designs, don't you think?).

Shiro Nakamura, Nissan senior VP and Chief Creative Officer, says, "Aerodynamics has become a critical element of design for all vehicles today, not just hybrids or EVs. We've used Ellure to explore subtle ways to reduce or eliminate body openings that can cause drag, such as the solid yet transparent coverings on the wheels and grilles, without impacting the beauty of the vehicle."

The "Molten" interior, which houses a floating center console, incorporates lines from the concept's exterior to help fuse passenger and passer-by experiences. Also, there is a full wraparound treatment from front to back that starts with the dashboard and moves around the "lounge-like" rear seat. Eco-materials are used throughout, too, like chrome-free "eco-tanned" leather on the dash and eco-suede on the front seats (ultra-suede in back, playa).

The powertrain is "conceived" as a 2.5-liter supercharged 4-cylinder engine connected to a 25 kW electric motor driving the front wheels through an Xtronic continuously variable transmission.

Anyone else think this is what the next Sentra should look like? It better, because otherwise Hyundai's Elantra is going to own the compact segment on looks alone.

By Phil Alex


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