Nissan has just unveiled it's Kicks Concept crossover at the 2014 Sao Paulo motor show in Brazil. The automaker is remaining mum for now about their intentions, however, it certainly looks production-ready. If this concept enters production, will it be tailored specifically to the Brazilian market? Or, as some are speculating, is the Kicks really the next generation Juke?
If you'll remember, the Juke made it's debut at the Geneva auto show in 2010, and it should be due for a replacement around 2017. The Kicks concept is about the same size with similar proportions as the Juke. It has a tall shoulder, generous ground clearance, short overhangs and a smallish cargo area.
It's flashier than the Juke, however. It sports bold accent colours on the roof and in the wheels, contrasting with it's satin titanium finish. It seems to take it's design cues from both a performance car and a compact SUV. It appears sleek, featuring full wraparound glass, a blunt vertical front end, floating roof, a V-motion grille, boomerant lights and 19-inch six-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels.
It's a little bigger- about 6.9 inches longer, and the powertrain is more likely to impress price-sensitive Latin Americans with the absence of all-wheel drive and turbocharged engine than North Americans. Perhaps a cheaper version of the Juke? It would seem to fit between the current Juke and Rogue models.
“It’s fun to drive, but at the same time, a serious vehicle. It is designed to have the appearance of a striking premium car that captivates the look and to be a vehicle whose owners would be proud to own and drive,” said Shiro Nakamura, vice president of Nissan’s global design department.
The Kicks is the result of a design collaboration between Nissan’s Global Design Center in Japan, Nissan Design America and Nissan Design America Rio, a design studio recently opened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They call it a more mature version of the Extrem Concept that was displayed at the 2012 Sao Paulo auto show.
So far, all Nissan is saying is that the Kicks is aimed at Brazilians. A statement read: "It was inspired by the streets of Brazil and designed for its people."
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca