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Nissan unveils Extrem “Baby Beast”

Smooth Brazilian: The Nissan Extrem concept was created in Sao Paolo and previews a possible future sub-Juke crossover.

Curvy crossover in Nissan’s future as Extrem concept emerges at Sao Paolo show


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23 Oct 2012

NISSAN tore the covers from a high-riding crossover coupe concept called Extrem at the Sao Paolo motor show overnight, providing a glimpse into the future of Nissan design for South America and beyond.

Designed in the US but built in Brazil, the curvy and diminutive Micra-based two-door lies somewhere between a small SUV and compact coupe – prompting the company to call it a “new genre of urban compact sportscar”.

It is smaller than the Juke five-door that Nissan Australia recently confirmed would finally join the local market, with sales to commence in the third quarter of 2013.

Nissan said a road-going version of the Extrem, for Brazil and potentially other global markets, would be powered by a version of the DIG-T 1.6 turbo-petrol engine from the Juke, and could come in both front- and four-wheel drive.

The concept, which Nissan Design America senior design manager Robert Bauer calls a “baby beast” and an “urban rally car”, was penned in San Diego and developed in Sao Paolo, reflecting the company’s growing focus on the fast-growing Brazilian market.

Nissan will open a new plant in Rio de Janiero in 2014 that will produce up to 200,000 vehicles annually, and global partner Renault already has a strong presence in the country.

The result of this design collaboration is an angular and aggressive coupe profile – including side scallops resembling the Lamborghini Urus SUV concept and bulging front wheelarches – paired with a high ride height, chunky tyres and large 19-inch wheels.

Other exterior highlights include aluminium skid plates, LED headlights and tail-lights, a contrasting matte silver roof and eye-catching metallic orange paint finish that the company says “pays homage to Brazilian nature”.

Nissan did not provide pictures of the two-seat cabin, but says the combination of wrap-around glass, floating roof rails and detached C-pillars “enhance the feeling of an open and airy cabin”, while the see-through A-pillars improve frontal outward visibility.

Nissan senior vice-president and chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura said cars such as the Extrem would help change perceptions about what cars produced in Brazil can offer.

“Brazil is a country of great natural beauty and it has a passionate, rich culture, but this is not always reflected in the cars on its streets, especially the more affordable locally produced vehicles, which tend to be conservative in design, colour and specification,” he said.

“Extrem, with a dynamic, high-character design, is far from conservative. It was created to appeal to the country’s growing band of city-based young professionals who are passionate about design and want to make a personal statement.”

The Extrem is just one of two small SUV concepts on show in Sao Paolo, with the Volkswagen Taigun also making its global debut (see link below).

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