• Dec 4th 2007 at 10:29AM
  • 15
Since the success of the Scion xB in North America, many people have been waiting for the vehicle that originated the boxy craze, the Nissan Cube, to hit this continent. Fueling more rumors have been recent spy shots of the vehicle at Pratt Institute in New York that surfaced on Jalopnik. The shots go hand in hand with Nissan's announcement that four design school modified Cube's will be on display at the 2008 New York International Auto Show in April. Nissan has given two Cubes each to the Brooks Institute film school in Santa Barbara, CA and Pratt Institute, School of Art and Design in New York City. The film students have been given the assignment of creating a short video intended to capture the toaster-like vehicle's essence. The design students are to do what they do best, modify the interior and exterior elements to meet their own visions. While the whole artsy marketing ploy has been done by Scion, their efforts were much more urban street custom while Nissan's aim seems to be a scholastic and structured image.

The official press release after the jump.

[Source: Nissan]



Las Vegas, NV -- October 30, 2007 -- Nissan North America (NNA) today announced a unique partnership with two film and design schools to showcase the Nissan Cube, a product sold in Japan, in the American market in a very distinctive way. The collaboration will task students to create provocative films and designs by integrating the Cube's inspirational and stylish design. The Brooks Institute film school in Santa Barbara, CA and Pratt Institute, School of Art and Design in New York City will participate in the Cube project, Cube-ism: Automobile Meets Art.

"When first launched in Japan, the Nissan Cube was the 'must-have' car for the uber-fashionable and trendy consumers," says Bruce Campbell, vice president, Design, Nissan Design America. "It quickly skyrocketed to become an icon in Japan, and - as Nissan continues to think big about small products - this project helps us understand how we can translate that success to other markets like North America."

Each school will receive two Nissan Cubes and participants from each school will be asked to interpret and communicate the essence of the vehicle. Both the Film and Design students will be asked to present concept direction presentations at the outset of the project for Nissan review and will meet with Nissan for periodic updates. The film students will be tasked with creating a short film, between 5-10 minutes long, that highlights the essence of the Nissan Cube. The design students are challenged with enhancing the Cube through changes in exterior colors, graphics, seat materials and wheel treatments. Projects will also include an eco-friendly element. Final works will be featured at the 2008 New York International Auto Show in April.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      the new xB is truly hideous and doesnt grow on you like the old one did, the cube is a very quirky ride, if this hits the states around 15k stock, i'll buy it
      • 7 Years Ago
      They headlights should be cubes ;P
      • 7 Years Ago
      Great.. now let them loose on the headlights. Those things look like they came off a 1990 Geo Tracker.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The whole front end looks really cheap to me, the headlights are by far the worst offender.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I don't mind the headlights really, it is the grill. If it was a solid contrasting grill in a bright color, it would be kind of cute. The black grill may try and make it look more serious, but on a car like this? Better to go with cutesy...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I remember sitting in one of these at the LA auto show in 2004 there were like 4 or 5 of them there... WTF happened that we never ended up getting them?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Check out the gallery, The white one is good looking with its Chrome grille and wheels plus tinted glass, Awesome.

      I dont care for the rear door, but it does have room for 7 seats so it has to be slightly bigger than the old bb/XB.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's not bad looking... but I don't like the fact that it's a blatent Element / xB knockoff. That's something I expect from Hyundai, not Nissan.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Cheaply built Toyota? In what world do you live in?

        That said, I agree with Philip. Scion is going to take a huge spanking over this. People that liked those xBs were in love with this look. The Nissan even seems to "one up" the old xB in many ways. The new xB doesn't hold a candle to the old one in both looks, and after market parts.

        Nissan is going to grab a ton of Toyota customers.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You're right. My bad.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Did you not read the article? The xB/bB was a knockoff of the Cube, which started the boxy-car craze in Japan originally. Not only that, but I'd take a Nissan over a cheaply built Toyota any day of the week.

        Ignorance is irritating when the info is staring you right in the face.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Cube came out in Japan in 1998. The 2nd generation car in 2002.

      The Toyota bB was released in 2000 in Japan. The Honda Element was released in 2003.

      There are more automotive worlds than what just exists in the United States.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Merritt Johnson gives not MERIT to the person responsible for sending him this article.....me.

      Anyway, I remember seeing this in Japan in 2005 and I felt some of the plastics seem to need an up grade, particularly around the dash area. And the back seats kind of had a vague feel about them. I think Nissan will address these issues if they want to sell it here. Also, AWD like most of the JDM models, should make itself here.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Scion are going to learn a lesson, I love Scion but the new larger Gas hog Xb isnt what we want or Need, the Cube will be very welcome, I hope Nissan forget the CVT tranny.
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