NISSAN hopes its Fusion concept study will help to banish the view that mainstream Japanese sedans are boring. The Fusion is the first in a series of at least 10 concept cars that Nissan plans to show within the next 12 months.
The concepts are the first stage in Nissan's plan to launch no fewer than 22 new models between now and 2002.
The Fusion was created at Nissan's European design center near Munich. The project was led by chief designer Stephane Schwarz, who was instructed to come up with innovative ideas.
Work on the Fusion began earlier this year, although the project was initiated before Renault took a controlling stake in Nissan in March 1999.
The Fusion is conceived as a family sedan in the upper-medium segment. It is the first concept study under Shiro Nakamura, Nissan's design vice president who was hired last year after Renault took control.
The Fusion design principle, described by Nissan as 'constructivism,' focuses on smooth surfaces. The interior is said to reflect the geometric purity of Japanese architecture.
The Fusion sits on a 2680mm wheelbase and measures 4639mm overall. Nissan denies that the car is a design concept for the next Primera, due at the 2001 Frankfurt auto show. But the Fusion does give hints to Nissan's styling future.
'Normally, concept studies are purely experimental, but the Fusion is more realistic,' said Nissan Europe spokesman Giuseppe Cavallo.
Nissan sources say the next Primera will likely use some of the Fusion's design ideas, including the silhouette and front-end details.
The Fusion includes such features as TV cameras instead of rearview mirrors and Philips fiber-optic lighting technology aided by Xenon generators. It was built by Stola in Turin, Italy.