What if a concept captured the heart of a nation?
We don’t typically make a big deal about the several smaller international motor shows that take place between the major ones like Paris and LA. For one, Japanese automakers typically have a slim showing at those events anyways, and for two, the cars they do show are typically tailored specifically to the show’s home market.
However, today’s Nissan Kicks Concept is something special. And we knew it would be something special when Nissan teased the car earlier this month.
Doors opened today at the 2014 Sao Paulo Motor Shor in Brazil. Since this particular motor show only falls every other year, it’s the biggest automotive event in Latin America. Nissan took the opportunity to introduce an ambitious new concept – the Nissan Kicks Concept – which they claim captures the heart of Brazil.
As you can see in the video, this is a concept developed exclusively for the South American market, and more so for Brazil. Mamoru Aoki, Nissan’s Global Executive Design Director, describes how the concept was “inspired by the streets of Brazil and designed for its people.” Robert Bauer, the Chief Designer behind the project, goes on to say, “We saw a disconnect between vehicles on Brazilian roads, which were mainly silver, black and white in color, and the exuberant nature of the country and its people.”
So, what we have here is a crossover that’s designed for Brazil’s business-class. Unlike the over-the-top EXTREM Concept that Nissan showed at the 2012 Sao Paulo show (below), the Kicks Concept is a realistic design study with serious production intent. It’s also yet another addition to Nissan’s ever-expanding portfolio of crossovers.
Clearly, Nissan paid a lot of attention to the Kicks Concept’s distinct color scheme, which pairs a classy charcoal grey with a vibrant sunset orange. The compact crossover rides on custom 19-inch alloys with matching orange accents, and you’ll find a similar accent on the front spoiler beneath Nissan’s trademark V-motion grille.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any pictures of the interior, but we expect that a production model would feel a lot more like an SUV inside than a sedan, despite the crossover’s small size.
The most interesting thing about Nissan’s contribution to the 2014 Sao Paulo Motor Show is that, even though it was designed specifically for Latin America, Nissan hinted that they’ll sell the car internationally. In their press release, they made a remarkably big deal about the Kicks Concept being a “global collaboration.” So, it’s definitely possible that the Kicks could end up as a sort of entry-level Juke in NA or EU markets.
Still, don’t forget that this is still just a design study. Maybe in another two years we’ll have a production model for you at the 2016 Sao Paulo event. If you’d like to learn more, Nissan gave us another longer promo video that delves a bit more into the Kicks’ development: