First Look: Nissan Ellure Concept

Revitalizing the sedan isn't anything new to Nissan -- just three years ago it introduced the current seventh-generation Maxima as the new age affordable "four-door sports car" (or 4DSC) fit for mall sprees and canyon runs. Even still, Nissan's design leaders say, the well-aged segment remains bland.

For 2010 and beyond, there is a need for the sedan (otherwise known as the "rational or functional choice", Nissan Design America vice president Alfonso Albaisa explained) to evolve into a vehicle with "more emotion".

"A new customer is coming into this mature segment," Albaisa mentioned at a private media gathering. Said customer is no longer predominantly male and in need of an athletic everyday people mover.

"She's between 30 and 40 years old," the designer revealed. "She's always respected the sedan, but she might be one that has a crossover or something else. The sedan has a value, but she thinks the sedan has become boring."

Shiro Nakamura, Nissan senior vice president and chief creative officer (the main man in charge of all Nissan/Infiniti design), agrees. "Nissan crossovers are expressive. We're trying to bring expression to the sedan."

Under Nakamura-san's guidance, everything also adheres to the "Spirit of Iki". "Iki is the traditional Japanese way of expression," he said. "(It is) fashionable, but not too showy. It has been used for over 500 years in Tokyo -- mainly for common people."

With that entire mindset, the automaker's design houses in Kanagawa, Japan and San Diego, California collaborated to create the Ellure concept you see here.

Although completely fresh, its modern physique remains distinctly Nissan with broad elements, strong shoulders, and well-hidden traits derived from Japanese culture. The tension, release, and interception of dynamic shapes plays a key role in the styling philosophy, too.

Crystalline LED lights are one trait designers employed to express a new emotion. Kinked, boomerang-shaped headlights look futuristic in a Tron sort of way and are matched with equally chiseled and drastically kinked LED taillights.

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