When Nissan presented its Fusion design concept at the Paris Show in 2000, it seemed logical to assume that it was paving the way for the next Primera. And so it turned out. The Nissan Evalia unveiled at the last Geneva Show, however, seemed to deliver a different message. And, in fact, the Nissan executives made it clear that this was merely an exploratory exercise aimed at a prospective Segment C model, not a pre-production show car nor a possible new version of the Almera.
Now, Shuji Takano, until March Vice President of Nissan Design Europe, the style centre they recently opened in London, explains the philosophy behind the Evalia. “We’d been working on several ideas for a new Segment C car but while that was going on, several potential production models were cancelled. We therefore decided to develop a genuine concept”.
The basic dimensions of the Evalia (425 x 178 x 151 cm) are typical of standard European Segment C 5-door family models except for its somewhat unusual height. So, is this a crossover vehicle? “I’d rather describe it as a fusion between a conventional Segment C and an MPV”, replies Takano.
In front view, the Evalia reflects Nissan’s current brand identity, albeit in a slightly modified form, but the tail end has offered the Nissan designers rather greater freedom to innovate.
The interior, on the other hand, is distinctly original, not to say innovative. In order to optimise the overall package they have gone for slender seats that are less bulky than convention demands. The head restraints are built into the backs of the main seats, while the central console and instrument panel have clearly been designed to look sporty and functional.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 139