Unveiled at the Paris motor show today, the show car called Tone hints at the future model which goes on sale in early 2006.
The Tone five-seater is apparently aimed at parents who need a practical car in which to carry the family but who are not prepared to trade space for driving pleasure.
The Tone takes styling influences from the Micra and mixes them with design cues from other Nissan concept and show cars. The arched roof line, at its highest point above the B-pillar, has become a feature of Nissan road cars since the Fusion concept. The pronounced waistline is fashionably high while the front and rear bumpers are fully integrated into the design.
Other influences, however, come from the more recent Qashqai urban crossover concept. Like Qashqai, the Tone has distinctive boomerang LED rear lights that frame the tailgate and roof, while Tone’s prominent triangular rear side windows are scaled up versions of those found on Qashqai.
According to project chief designer Taiji Toyota, Tone is: “?tall, but not so tall. We wanted a roomy interior and the benefits of a high driving position but we did not want to make the car look top heavy. With the long wheelbase and body we feel we have achieved a shape that will appeal on both a practical and emotional level.”
Nissan have tried to give the Tone a ‘masculine’ feel with extensive use of brushed aluminium for interior fittings and a dark grey exterior body colour. Inside, a hint of purple shows through the perforated ‘metallic’ black and silver leather upholstery while light grey headlining contrasts with the predominantly black trim.
Twin glass strips run the length of the roof – another feature seen on many recent Nissan show cars – that bathe the interior with natural light.
Two deep set dials can be found behind the sporting three spoke steering wheel, but the centre of the dashboard is dominated by a brushed aluminium display panel housing a satellite navigation screen and controls for the climate control system.
The glove box features a neat slot that doubles as a tissue dispenser – ideal for keeping sticky fingers off the upholstery – while the brushed aluminium centre console-cum-armrest houses a deep storage area beneath its lid.
The backrest folds to create a roomy and flat load area. Extra storage space can be found beneath the boot floor, which lifts to reveal a deep well, with a storage capacity of 90 litres, where valuables can be stowed out of sight.
Taiji Toyota, whose previous designs include X-TRAIL, Murano and the Chappo concept which led directly to the innovative Nissan Cube, says: “Tone is a dynamic, sophisticated car with strong emotional appeal that also answers a parent’s practical needs.”
The Tone is likely to be built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant.