The rest of the city can be extremely drab, however, at least when compared to vibrant Rio de Janeiro, so we best leave it to the homens e mulheres (or otherwise brasileiros e brasileiras) at the new Nissan Design America Rio studio to decide how they want to depict cities within their own country, or at least how they want to describe how their new compact crossover reflects “the design inspiration from Brazil,” or so Nissan says.
Some might wonder what a Japanese company might know about South America’s largest country and biggest economy, but those who’ve spent time there will tell you of its massive Japanese population, São Paulo having more Japanese expatriates than any other city in the world, the Liberdade district especially rich in Japanese culture.
The São Paulo International Motor Show, which takes place every two years, is a full 10 kilometres north of Liberdade, mind you, at the expansive Anhembi Exhibiton
While the colours are questionable, Nissan hit the mark right on the head by bringing a compact crossover SUV to the show. Due to the majority of this massive country being connected via decaying roadways, vehicles with reasonably high ground clearance are needed outside of the major cities, and the Kicks Concept delivers extended ride height along with its edgy SUV styling.
Nissan is no stranger to off-the-beaten-path design, its radical Cube and Juke subcompacts
It makes sense because, as Aoki mentioned above, the creation of the Kicks Concept required full global cooperation from Nissan’s design departments. Starting with the leadership of the brand’s Global Design Center in Japan, it was “developed by Nissan Design America in San Diego with input from Nissan Design America Rio, the recently opened satellite design studio,” says the Yokohama-based company.
“What we try to achieve is this kind of duality,” said Project Lead Designer Hiren Patel of Nissan Design America. “It fits your pragmatic needs but also provides a sense of style and an extra sense of substance that we feel is missing in the market right now.”
Nissan might have considered covering the crossover in inartistically destructive graffiti to heighten its connection with Paulistanos, but no doubt they wanted to offer a more positive reflection of the Brazilian city’s society than what is so plainly evident when there.
“The main inspiration for this concept was the contrast that we saw in the grey tones of the urban settings in São Paulo and the bright natural colors that we saw near our studio in Rio,” said Robert Bauer, Chief Designer at the Rio studio. “How to
But as outlined before, the Kicks offers up more worldwide appeal than just its current Brazilian target.
“It’s not only just for the Brazilian market, but we capture the idea of Brazil and then we apply it to our global design improvement, making a stronger design lineup for future Nissan designs,” said Taro Ueda, Vice President of Nissan Design America.
The São Paulo International Motor Show “kicks” off on November 9, at which point Nissan will be able to judge reaction from the large contingent of Brazilian and global media present, as well as the crossover SUV’s potential customers.
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