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Nissan Kicks out design concept

Kick start: The Kicks concept is the result of a collaboration between Nissan design centres in Japan, the United States and Brazil.

Sao Paulo show reveal for Nissan's Brazilian market Kicks crossover concept


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29 Oct 2014

NISSAN has ripped the covers off its Kicks Concept at the Sao Paulo motor show after weeks of teasers, revealing a chunky new compact crossover the car-maker says hints at a possible future production model for the Brazilian market.

If it does get the go ahead for production, it is unclear whether it will be restricted to Latin America or offered in other global markets, including right-hand drive Australia.

The Kicks follows on from the striking Extrem crossover concept from the 2012 Sao Paulo motor show, with Nissan Brazil president Francois Dossa saying it took the original concept “from pure fantasy to a market position that is a little closer to reality”.

While the images give the impression the Kicks is a Juke-sized sub-compact model, its dimensions reveal that it is more in-line with the larger Qashqai.

The Kicks is 4300mm long, 1600mm high and 1800mm wide, which is 77mm shorter, 5mm higher and 6mm narrower than the second-generation Qashqai compact SUV that went on sale in Australia in July this year.

As previewed in the shadowy images released in recent weeks, the front end carries Nissan's 'V-Motion' design language incorporating a large V-shaped grille, with more sedate versions familiar from the Qashqai and X-Trail SUVs.

Also familiar from other Nissan concepts and production models are the boomerang headlights and floating roof, while the shoulder line is similar to that of the next-gen Murano SUV and the Sports Sedan concept, both revealed at this year's New York motor show.

The shape of the rear end is similar to the new Qashqai, but features boomerang headlights, while underneath the Kicks has a skidplate with accents in the same 'Rio Sunset' colour that covers the roof.

Giving the Kicks a more dramatic look are the 19-inch six-spoke aluminium-alloy wheels that feature three different finishes – gloss black for the inner wheel, Rio Sunset on the spokes and machine-finished hubs.

Nissan is yet to provide any details about powertrains for its Brazilian baby.

The design was a “global collaboration” led by Nissan's Global Design Centre in Japan with input from Nissan Design America in San Diego, California and Nissan Design America Rio, which is the company's recently opened styling studio located in its Brazilian headquarters.

Nissan Motor Company senior vice president and chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura said the design collaboration between studios was a strength of the Japanese car-maker.

“The Kicks project has been an outstanding example of how our global design network works to create vehicles that are well suited to the regions where they will be seen and enjoyed,” he said.

“For this concept car, we called on our Rio de Janeiro team for their expertise and local insight.” Other crossover concepts revealed at Sao Paulo include the Volkswagen Fox Pepper, Citroen's AirCross Lunar and the rough and ready looking Troller T4.

Nissan is one of a number of car-makers with design centres in the South American nation. Chevrolet developed current the Colorado utility there.

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