2005 Nissan AZEAL Concept

The Azeal, Nissan‘s interpretation of a “pocket rocket,” may presage the next Sentra. The concept is the first attempt from the new Nissan Design America, Inc. studios in the Detroit suburb of Farmington Hills and highlights those ideals that the tuner crowd holds most dear: affordability, performance, and bangin’ style.

The clean, unblemished exterior gives the Azeal an urban feel, an impression reinforced by an attractive grille design which reminds us (in a good way) of a city sewer grate. The Azeal sits on nineteen-inch wheels and features a six-speed manual transmission, a pop-up spoiler above the rear glass which also houses the third brake light, and a glass-panel roof. Between the glass panels sits what Nissan calls the car’s “mohawk,” a narrow, longitudinal metal panel that extends down into the windshield glass.

The urban theme is carried into the interior with polished aluminum surfaces everywhere and vents that mimic the grille’s ‘grate’ look. Interior accents and seat inserts are finished in a color Nissan calls Wasabi Chartreuse and serve to brighten up the metal-intensive cockpit, which also sports drilled pedals, a retractable nav screen, and an exposed-disc shifter housing. The minimalist cockpit and shapely sheetmetal suggest sportiness that has been sorely lacking from Nissan’s recent small cars.

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