In a magnificent commemoration of Nissan Design Europe’s (NDE) twenty-year tenure in London, Makoto Uchida, Nissan’s President and CEO, added a touch of grandeur to the event by unveiling their newest masterpiece: the Nissan Concept 20-23, an avant-garde electric urban concept car.
The curtain rose on the Concept 20-23 amidst the picturesque setting of Paddington Basin along the Grand Union canal, right outside NDE’s headquarters. This location, with its unique charm, has been integral to the studio’s identity, making it a perfect backdrop for this special occasion.
A team of young talents from NDE was entrusted with the task of designing this car, given complete creative freedom to craft a vehicle that they would love to drive on the vibrant streets of London.
The name “Concept 20-23” carries significance, signifying 20 years of NDE’s London legacy, along with the Japanese words for “two” (ni) and “three” (san), while also acknowledging the current year.
This concept car pays homage to Nissan’s playful history with compact cars, following in the footsteps of iconic models like the Be-1, Pao, Figaro, and S-Cargo, all known for their unique flair.
The Concept 20-23 boasts a sleek 3-door hatchback design with bold aerodynamic features at the front and rear. Deep skirts expertly channel airflow away from the front, cooling the brakes and exiting through vents near the front wheels.
The flat front surface gracefully transitions to house the distinctive LED headlights, characterized by their slim upper and lower semi-circular design. These headlights, along with the integrated turn signals, add a friendly touch to the car’s intricate aerodynamic shape.
Moving to the side, the Concept 20-23’s muscular appearance is accentuated by extended wheel arches that house large wheels fitted with low-profile tires.
Vented louvres atop the arches reduce air resistance in the wheel bay. The airflow management extends to the rear, where angular slits behind the rear wheels help cool the brakes. The extended skirts elegantly embrace the car’s lower body.
At the back, a single-piece spoiler seamlessly emerges from the roof rail, enhancing downforce without compromising rear visibility. The rear lights echo the slim semi-circular LED design of the front, contrasting with the functional shapes below, which maximize airflow management and downforce. A horizontal bar defines the car’s rear hatchback, emphasizing its full width.
The Concept 20-23 features a thin roof air intake near the windshield header, providing ventilation for the occupants as they enjoy its high-performance capabilities. The exterior sports a textured grey finish, resembling a single piece of finely crafted metal, reflecting its urban environment. The number “23” proudly graces the car’s rear three-quarters.
While the Concept 20-23 primarily focuses on exterior aesthetics, its interior mirrors the sporty spirit of its exterior. Accessible via scissor doors that hinge upwards from the A-pillar base, the interior features deep bucket seats that offer both support and comfort. Trimmed in a nearly white finish, the seats feature prominent headrests reminiscent of racing car designs.
Upon entering, the driver encounters an extended steering column with a rectangular sports steering wheel equipped with various controls and adjustments.
Paddles for adjusting the electric powertrain performance and additional switches are conveniently within fingertip reach behind the wheel. A carbon-fiber mount supports the steering column, bolted firmly from the base of the expansive center console.
The minimalist interior design, inspired by racing cars, includes just a couple of screens displaying vital information, ensuring minimal distractions – a nod to the setups seen in real racing cars, such as Nissan’s Formula E entrant, that inspire online racing simulators.