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Nissan's got the right idea when it comes to sussing out what young urban car buyers want: ask them. It's more than just a focus group, though. Nissan actually worked with 18 New York teenagers to educate them about the car design process and how to spot trends. The automaker has teamed up with Sweat Equity Enterprises to give teenagers from underprivileged backgrounds a taste of the huge cornucopia of opportunities there are in the world. Six different teams competed to design the winning concept, the prize being a model of the winner. The teens turned out such impressive and clever ideas for a $9000 car that all the concepts will be brought to digital life as animated digital mockups.

An elemental three-box in fetching metallic orange dubbed the Pure came out on top. Team member Stewie Jones explained that the idea was to make the Pure a spiritual successor to the Datsun 510, trading on the same type of goodwill that sells MINIs, and building on legend like Nissan's done with generations of Skyline. Nissan gets the inside scoop on what urban youth really wants, and that's a commendably simple and effective concept. We'll get our chance to ogle the scale model of the Pure at SEMA's expansive event next week, and we wish that someone had rewarded us for incessantly drawing cars in high school, instead of dooming all of our best work to the trashbin.

[Source: New York Times via Kicking Tires]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      typical debate shutdown tactics.

      "until you design a car you can't comment..."


      I may not be a car designer, I do something else. However, I can comment all I want about car design, and so can anyone else.

      This is autoblog's comments forum. there are people with knee jerk reactions, and opinions ranging from novice to professional. This isn't a college or professional review board, and doesn't necessarily carry that weight, either, so get over yourselves.

      Opinions are like navels, everyone has one, and they aren't all alike. Get used to the idea.

      No one here is calling the participants character into question, or attacking them, just posters on these comment boards attacking other commenters.

      Some will like the design, others won't.

      Just in case my opinion wasn't clear before, I thought the winning design was viable, just not as well developed as a production track design should be.

      I think it is too boxy and flat. it looks like a carbon copy of an old car being passed off as a new car. This is a design competition, and the design isn't all that original, it is merely better than it's competitors.

      I am not a designer, but I know that about myself. Some days I wish I were, so that I could get the ideas in my head into existence. I do work with designers indirectly, though, and I know it takes more training than I have, and a very big dose of creativity to design something new and original, without merely tweaking an existing design. But I recognize tweaking an existing or past design when I see it.

      My comment about the door width is a mechanical issue, and if this car were produced, honest to the model, it would be a questioned and criticized, as to why a two-door car has such narrow doors, when larger ones would easily fit. Mechanical considerations are not divorced from design, either.

      These people did a respectable job, and kudos for it, but this isn't the greatest design ever produced, and real life is not immune from criticism, neither are these designs.

      The participants can be proud of themselves in their accomplishement, but the people lashing out at others' opinions here shouldn't be proud. Get yourselves a reality check, and "simma-dahn-nah."
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks like they designed a small 300.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why is it that the big auto companies can't see the obvious? Who woulda thunk kids would design a modernized 510 with 20" TE-37 Volks?

      Nissan should bring back the Datsun name and sell a spiritual successor to the 510 and 240z.

        • 7 Years Ago
        Ahhh. A Nissan answer to toyota's Scion. that could be interesting.
      • 7 Years Ago
      hahaha the kid on the right is really a spy from Toyota hahaha
      • 7 Years Ago
      LOL!! I can't believe the negative comments to this post... Some of you are really "special"... And I mean that in a bad way!!

      Maybe learn about the process of early design, then submit your own project, and then you can complain about someone elses.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes, 18 year old underprivileged diversity really buys a lot of cars these days....

      • 7 Years Ago
      Congrats to the winners BUT I guess I should have entered also, I would've won this with playdouh and building blocks. Oh and the color... Gig Em!
      • 7 Years Ago
      All the sophistication and style of a garbage truck. These are hideous, especially that square sided Hummer/Escalade pickup thing that looks like it was made out of a cereal box and a shoebox with some Elmers glue.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If Nissan builds it like these kids designed it, with decent power and handling, I'll be one of the first at their door to get one! Awesome looking!
      • 7 Years Ago
      To all the people with negative comments, please show YOUR designs. Come on, put them up on the web and post a link. We would all like to see them. If high school kids can do it you must be able to.

      Until you do that you have no right to criticize these kids, there is some good stuff in there. I've seen MUCH worse from the car companies themselves.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow, I like that a lot. It's so simple with just the right amount of flare. It'd be a great car to drive if they kept it small and LIGHT.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I drive a 72 510, and I didn't make the purchase because I like the classic car appeal - it's because there's nothing comparable in the new car market. Small economy sedans just don't exist anymore. Selling points of the 510 were: light weight, rear wheel drive, four doors, simplicity, and parts interchangeability. Nissan should be taking notes on the Mini Cooper program - the spirit of a cult classic ressurected, sold with a low base price and lots of available options. I'd envision a reborn 510 to be rear-wheel drive, lighter than the Versa, and looking pretty much like the model above. Hopefully market research comes to the same conclusion.
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