Nissan showed the world its new styling direction with the unveiling the Sway concept at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.
The Sway is a subcompact hatchback designed for the European market. While small, the Sway is wide and, with the oversize wheels and tires typical in a concept car, looks much bigger than it is. The front end is dominated by what Nissan calls its V-motion grille. Although it sounds like something that belongs in IT, the V-motion grille frames an enlarged Nissan logo with a chrome strip that looks a bit more like a U than a V. It’s similar to the grille treatments on the new Rogue and updated Juke, but bigger. A lot bigger.
Nissan’s characteristic Coke-bottle character line swoops up from the front wheels, dips down at the front doors, then continues to the hatch. The greenhouse shows some steep tumblehome up to the roof, and the rear glass is angled, which could take away some trunk space.
Headlights and taillights are variations of Nissan’s lightning bolt design. The chrome accent around the headlights help make the front of the car look like a face, the lights staring at you from under anthropomorphic eyebrows.
The four entry doors look like normal doors, but the rear doors actually open suicide-style, leaving no B-pillar when front and rear doors are opened. This illusion of space is further augmented by a glass roof with X-shaped pillars. Nissan stylists wanted people to admire the interior, which is as radical as the exterior.
Nissan’s name for the dash is “gilding wing,” meant to look like a pair of wings opened up from the middle. Whatever it’s called, it’s a spartan look, with only two gauges for the driver, a large, trapezoidal touch screen in the middle and two oversize knobs near the console. The interior is designed so that any surface a driver touches is soft, but anything that is used to do something – like change gears or open the door – is metal.
The Sway’s interior color scheme proves that blue interiors didn’t go out of style with the 80s. Seats and door panels are blue, while the dash and steering wheel are white with tan accents. It’s a bold move, as the color scheme doesn’t seem to match the silver-grey and bronze exterior.
Whether some of the more extreme design elements like the glass roof or suicide doors make it to production remains to be seen, but the Sway’s bold exterior design shows that the company is ready to make up for the dowdy Versa and inject some much needed style into their small car lineup.
Watch the TFLcar A to Z video compilation of all the new car debuts from Geneva.