Nissan Ellure
Nissan Ellure. Click image to enlarge

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Article and photos by Paul Williams

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Nissan’s bold new designs

When asked to sum up the Nissan brand in one word, Alfonso Albaisa, VP – Nissan Design America suggested “innovation” as the defining characteristic. “Unlike some other companies, we’re not looking for all our vehicles to look the same,” he said at a round-table discussion at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Judging from the array of types and styles of vehicles produced by Nissan and Infiniti — from the voluptuous Infiniti Essence concept car through to “fun” cars like the Juke and Cube — “versatile” would be another word that defines up the brand. At the L.A. show, four vehicles were launched that showcase Nissan’s range of capability.

Nissan Ellure Concept

Nissan has a long history in sedan design — the Altima, Maxima and Sentra are mainstays — and although many consumers are migrating to crossovers and coupe alternatives, Nissan remains committed to the four-door car as an integral part of its vehicle line-up.

Nissan Ellure
Nissan Ellure. Click image to enlarge

The Ellure is a styling and design exercise that points the way for future Nissan sedans. Described by Mr. Albaisa as “magnetic,” the Ellure is intended to bring a more dynamic and emotional look to the mid-size sedan, he said, utilizing several Japanese design themes in its conception.

The Ellure grille, for example, was inspired by “Kamishino” Samurai formal wear, and the rear end of the car is inspired by a “Torii” Shinto shrine gate.

Although not intended as an “eco” vehicle, Ellure is designed to efficiently move air over and under the body, using a solid transparent front grille, a full underbody pan, moulded side rear-view camera housings (rather than mirrors), small wheel openings and full transparent covers over the five-spoke, 21-inch alloy rims.

Nissan reports that it regards the Ellure as “the sedan reimagined.”

Nissan Quest
Nissan Ellure
2011 Nissan Quest
2011 Nissan Quest. Click image to enlarge

Rumours of the minivan’s demise may be premature, especially when they evolve into a transportation reward, rather than a concession to practicality. That’s Nissan’s approach with the fourth-generation 2011 Nissan Quest, scheduled for sale in early 2011.

The 2011 Quest features a new exterior design, one-touch power sliding doors, dual opening glass moonroofs, standard second and third-row fold-flat seats, and a range of family friendly conveniences designed to, “make life as a parent a little less chaotic.”

Based on Nissan’s D-platform which also underpins the Murano crossover, and the Altima and Maxima sedans, the most striking feature of the new Quest is its full surround privacy glass. Along with its low stance, this minivan actually looks sleek.

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