Click above for high-res image gallery of the Nissan Qazana Concept

Nissan has released a teaser image of its big debut for the 2009 Geneva Motor Show: the Qazana Concept. The Qazana will preview a small crossover actually destined for production in 2010, and based on Nissan's description, we're expecting a small, five-door car similar to the new Kia Soul. The head-on teaser shot shows a sliver of headlight, one giant fog light that looks like it does the lion's share of illumination, a flared front fender and tiny side-view mirror. What we don't see are the concept's suicide doors that assuredly won't make it to production (they never do). The actual production Qazana will be based on the same platforms as the next-generation Micra and be built alongside that model in Nissan's Sunderland plant.

[Source: Nissan]

PRESS RELEASE:

NISSAN REVEALS STUNNING DESIGN CONCEPT FOR NEXT SUNDERLAND-BUILT MODEL

* World debut of Qazana concept car
o Hints at the design direction of Nissan's new small Crossover
o Manufacturing planned for 2010 at Nissan's Sunderland factory
* European debut of new 370Z
* European debut of new Cube

Nissan will have a host of new cars for Europe on display at the 79th Geneva International Motor Show.

Qazana Show Car
The star of the Nissan stand will be Qazana, a show car providing a good indication of the, as yet unnamed, compact car that will be produced at the Nissan Sunderland plant from 2010, safeguarding around 1,100 jobs.

Best described as a small Crossover, Qazana has been conceived to challenge conventional wisdom about what buyers of small five-door cars should expect.

The striking design is dominated by large, wide wheel arches and a lower shape which gives a feeling of strength, while the upper body is dynamic, assertive and sporty. Qazana is a five-door, with the rear doors opening forwards once the front doors have been opened, in the style of 'suicide doors'.

Qazana will reinforce Nissan's position as a pioneer of Crossovers, building on the success of Qashqai and the recently introduced Qashqai+2.

Trial builds of the production car will begin in early 2010 before its introduction on the Micra/Note line. There it will take up manufacturing capacity created when production of the current version of Micra ends later that same year.

The new model has been designed and developed in the UK and represents around £57m of investment. Its arrival takes the total investment by Nissan in the Sunderland plant to around £2.5b since 1984.

Trevor Mann, Nissan Senior Vice President for Manufacturing in Europe, commented: "The difficulties currently facing the car industry have been widely documented, and Nissan has not been immune.As a result we have had to make some difficult decisions, but the reason we have done so is to secure a long and positive future for the plant. Qazana points the way to that future and gives an indication of the unique and exciting car we will be producing in Sunderland next year."

Other models being on display at the show
370Z
Being shown for the first time in Europe, Nissan's all new Z-car picks up where the popular 350Z left off. Using an enlarged version of the VQ V6 engine, now producing 331PS, and driving the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox, which is available with the world's first synchronised down/up shift rev control system, or an all-new paddle-operated seven-speed automatic.

Cube
Already an icon in its home market of Japan, the all new Cube will be introduced for the first time in Europe in November, where its unique, friendly design will appeal to European car-buyers who are looking for something genuinely new and different.

Its large, open and airy interior will win the hearts of city-dwellers who are not traditional car 'fans', but who will find Cube appealing as it is an extension of their personality – creative, fun and distinctive. In Europe, the Cube will come with both a 106PS DPF-equipped 1.5-litre diesel and a 1.6-litre petrol, producing 111PS.

The Nissan press conference will be hosted by Carlos Tavares, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd at 17:00 on Tuesday 3rd March.

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