Nissan XIX Concept is Still Cool 28 Years Later – Flashback to the 31st Tokyo Motor Show

By Steve Laser

It was a different world 28 years ago when we traveled to Japan to attend the 31st Tokyo Motor Show. I recently revisited memories of the 1995 show via photos that I made of the Nissan display during the media preview days.

This story highlights the automaker’s creative concepts and select production vehicles. Nissan also brought along many of its latest showroom models, including the newest versions of the Primera sedan, plus the new Terrano SUV.

It was the second time that we attended the biennial Tokyo Motor Show, which was held at the Makuhari Messe convention complex in Chiba.


My favorite Nissan concept at the show was the XIX (pronounced “Kicks”). While a car-based four-door pickup is not a new idea, the creativity of this concept made it a sight to behold.

XIX was said to be a new type of “sedan” designed for those seeking a vehicle that could adapt to individual lifestyles and suit different needs. Imagine it as a pleasure vehicle towing a small boat, or as a working vehicle, with room to carry passengers and their gear to a job site.

The squared-off styling brought to mind the Nissan Rasheen, a regular production model that Nissan also brought to the show (see below). However, with its short cargo bed topped by a tilt-up hard cover, the focus was to offer flexibility of use.

Designed to ride on a front-drive platform powered by a 4-cylinder engine, vehicles like this were eventually built (I’m thinking of the Subaru Baja), although Nissan decided not to put this XIX into production.

This flashback video, from the YouTube channel, highlights Nissan’s concepts and production vehicles at the 31st Tokyo Motor Show in 1995.


The CQ-X offered a preview of a potential medium-size sedan of the future. This good looking concept was envisioned to be both fuel-efficient and fitted with the latest safety features and technologies.

Among its roster of cool stuff, the CQ-X was designed to improve comfort and convenience with a new “human interface” for displays and operating systems, along with a “holographic corner pole system” that makes it easier to back up into a parking space, plus other goodies like gas discharge headlights.

CQ-X could be powered by a direct-injection gas or diesel engine, teamed with an X-CVT continuously variable transmission. It was also said to feature a lightweight aluminum body and low rolling resistance tires. Like the XIX, the Nissan CQ-X concept still looks neat today.


Nissan set out to reimagine the convertible when it created the AA-X concept. While open-air driving is part of its mission, it’s also said to feature multipurpose uses thanks to a creatively designed top and interior.

The top (not shown) has a divided construction that offers a removable hard front section and soft rear section. The top design, and flexible seating, was said to offer five different ways to configure the vehicle to personal needs.

Meanwhile, the interior was described as evoking the look of a light airplane cockpit, featuring a continuous curve, that runs from the instrument cluster to the center console.


Nissan was thinking about electric cars long before it decided to build the Leaf. This cute-looking FEV-II (Future Electric Vehicle) concept was designed as a pure EV, with “personal coupe” styling that brings to mind Nissan’s previous boutique cars.

FEV-II was described as delivering “dramatically improved” EV performance, with its high-energy-density, lithium-ion batteries plus a compact high-speed induction motor.

The FEV-II followed the FEV I concept that was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1991. While that model carried more futuristic styling, the FEV-II was getting closer to the powertrain of the future Leaf.


The Rasheen was a production model that Nissan offered starting in late 1994 after its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1993. The styling appears to have influenced the XIX concept, or at least it looks familiar, with its boxy look.

What about the name? Nissan said it was coined from the Japanese word “rashinban,” that means compass. Rasheen offered a GA15DE 4-cylinder engine with EGI, and a full-time 4WD system. It also featured a rear-mounted spare tire carrier, adding to the SUV-like style.


The S-RV concept, that Nissan called a sporty, on-road multipurpose vehicle (MPV), wears more contemporary styling versus the Rasheen. S-RV was based on the European Nissan Almera 5-door hatchback.

With its SR18DE engine and ATTESA 4WD system, the SR-V was said to project a fun image for driving pleasure. Nissan decided to build the SR-V in 1996, however it was called the Pulsar S-RV, and featured unique styling.


Nissan displayed the second-generation Terrano that had just gone on sale the month before the show. (It looks familiar because Terrano was called Pathfinder in the states.) In addition to new styling, Terrano employed a new Monoframe™ weight-saving body construction.

Powertrains for Japan included a TD27ETi 4-cylinder turbo-diesel and VG33E V6 gas engines, with available All-Mode 4WD™.

The cabin offered new-generation ergonomic seats or optional sporty leather-trimmed Recaro® seats. Terrano also featured Nissan’s Birdview™ Navigation system with voice guidance, plus anti-lock brakes and a driver-side airbag.

Original photos © 1995 Steve Laser on location in Chiba, Japan

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