By Steve & Tamami Laser, with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan
(Update: We visited the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show and have photos and videos of these concepts in our story. Click here for Part 1 of our show coverage.)
Nissan has pulled the wraps off its 2015 Tokyo Motor Show lineup, revealing something new, something borrowed, and something gold, (instead of blue). The biggest surprise is the new Teatro for Dayz concept targeting the digital native generation.
We recognized the Dayz moniker that’s currently used on members of Nissan’s mini vehicle (Kei car) family. We saw the Dayz Roox (above) premiere at the last Tokyo Motor Show in 2013. This is a taller “super height wagon” version of Nissan’s popular Dayz mini car.
Teatro for Dayz and Nights
Nissan says Teatro for Dayz is a combination of mobile technologies unlike any previously imagined in a car. Combined with Nissan’s EV technology, this car represents “a radical new way of thinking about how vehicles can be used.”
According to Nissan’s Product Planning General Manager Hidemi Sasaki, “The generation now getting their first driver’s licenses has always been connected through digital devices, email, social media and so forth. What moves these digital natives is capturing experiences in photos and videos and sharing them. Friends respond with ‘likes’ and share the experience further. What’s important is not whether something is experienced personally or virtually. What matters is the process of sharing.”
Sasaki calls this generation “share natives.” For share natives, excitement comes not from ownership of material objects, but from using things to connect with friends and share enjoyment.
For share natives, cars exist outside the orbit of connected life. Many of them describe driving as stressful because they can only share their current experience with the other people in the car. Sasaki says: “What share natives want from cars is not the joy of driving or their own private space, but a better way to connect with friends and share experiences.”
From concept to interior and exterior design, Teatro for Dayz is simple: a clean canvas. When the car is in drive mode, meters, controls and maps appear on a pure white instrument panel. When parked, Teatro for Dayz transforms into an entirely new device. The entire interior, starting with the instrument panel, becomes a live display for a generation wired for connectivity.
Teatro derives from the Italian word for theater. Nissan says it’s easy to picture share natives making Teatro for Dayz the center of an impromptu outdoor festival, or embarking on serious new-generation gaming fun complete with top-quality sound.
Share natives could change Teatro for Dayz’s interior design, matching the look to the season, the weather, or simply the vibe of the day. Some might choose to share a dreamy scene with close friends far away. Others might decorate for an online party and share the moment with friends.
Teatro for Dayz’s plain exterior, too, serves as a canvas for ideas. It’s outfitted with LED screens that enable further self-expression. Any experience in or around the car can be shared instantly via an onboard camera. All the while, the EV battery keeps smartphones and other devices juiced up.
Nissan says Teatro for Dayz’s user interface is based on freedom. When the car is not in drive mode, all the driver sees is a steering wheel, an accelerator and brake pedals. As information illuminates on the white instrument panel, the driver can freely adjust the size and position of the meters, gauges and car navigation information on the instrument screen. Unnecessary information can be hidden.
The solid white interior suggests infinite possibilities for display. As technology evolves and share natives contribute ideas through feedback, Nissan says the variety of ways the interior could serve as a digital native theater will expand.
Get a Gripz on This
The next concept looks familiar because it debuted last moth at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The Nissan Gripz Concept, conceived by designers in Europe and Japan, aims to blend the ability and practicality of a compact crossover with the excitement and performance of a sports car.
Equipped with an EV-technology-based series hybrid system, Pure Drive e-Power, Nissan says the Gripz Concept delivers a smooth, refined and exhilarating driving experience with outstanding fuel efficiency. Within the system, an efficient gasoline engine powers the same electric motor used in the Nissan Leaf.
The exterior of the Nissan Gripz Concept is guided by the “emotional geometry” body sculpting concept which depicts strong contrasts through the dynamic, tensional, yet edgy, surface. The interior has a “gliding wing” instrument panel, with an elegantly thin design that combines strength with simplicity.
Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo
Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo, a concept supercar developed in conjunction with Polyphony Digital Inc., the creators of the racing video game Gran Turismo for PlayStation, is designed to further increase Nissan’s sizable presence in the game and beyond.
The latest creation in the Vision Gran Turismo Project was unveiled at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014 in the U.K. In new Fire Knight red bodycolor and featuring a new expression of Nissan’s signature V-Motion grille, Nissan says the Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo is a real-world embodiment of a virtual car, through which gamers around the world experience Nissan’s dynamic performance and innovation.
Leaf Turns to Gold
Since the Nissan Leaf’s launch in 2010, over 180,000 have been sold worldwide, making it the world’s best-selling EV. At this year’s Tokyo show, Nissan will exhibit a new grade offering a single-charge driving range up to 280 km (Nissan internal measurements based on Japanese driving conditions) and advanced safety technology, standardized across all grades for the Japan market, including Forward Emergency Braking, which is designed to help drivers avoid or mitigate the impact of frontal collisions, and Lane Departure Warning. Nissan plans to announce the latest Nissan Leaf grades for Japan in November and begin sales in December.
Nissan says a total of 20 vehicles will be on display, including the X-Trail Hybrid Mode Premier and Juke 16GT Four Personalization models; and special-feature models, including the Skyline 350GT Hybrid Type-SP Cool Exclusive, Fuga 370GT Type-S Cool Exclusive and Serena Highway Star V Selection.
“PlayStation” and “Gran Turismo” are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc.
News source and photos from Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Nissan Dayz Roox photo from Tokyo Motor Show press office
Story (text) © 2015 CarNichiWa.com