• Nov 17, 2010
Nissan Ellure concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Nissan calls its Ellure concept "the sedan re-imagined," previewing what sort of design is possible for its forthcoming four-door range. This concept is at once elegant and aggressive, with styling elements that don't stray too far from what the automaker is currently putting out. Those headlamps, for example, use the same fin-like design of the taillights on the 370Z and Juke, and are a more forward-thinking version of what we currently see on the Maxima.

Let's be clear, though – there are plenty of elements on the Ellure that are purely concept car spec. The large, 21-inch wheels and rear-hinged rear doors, for example – stylish and sleek, yes, but hardly practical for future production sedans. The same thing can be said for the interior, which uses suede seats, "floating" headrests, red floors and red pedals (why don't more cars have these?).

The Ellure is powered by a supercharged 2.5-liter inline-four and a 25-kilowatt electric motor, mated to the automaker's Xtronic CVT and a front-wheel-drive layout. Nissan says the concept uses regenerative braking and an advanced drive-by-wire electric/hydraulic steering system to ensure that the Ellure is as involving as possible for drivers out on the road.

No, the Ellure won't be destined for production, but we're eager to see how this sexy new sedan influences Nissan's future product portfolio. See it in full high-res glory in the gallery below, and follow the jump for the official press release.

Live photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Nissan]
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Nissan Ellure Concept – The Sedan Re-Imagined – Makes World Debut at 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show

As a longtime industry innovator in sedan design, notably the original Datsun 510 and numerous generations of Nissan Maximas, Altimas and Sentras, Nissan has always had an affinity for both the form and its buyers. So it should come as no surprise that in an environment where traditional sedan buyers have been migrating toward coupe and crossover SUV alternatives, along comes the engagingly seductive Nissan Ellure Concept, which makes its world debut at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.

"While not intended as a preview of any upcoming production model, Ellure confirms Nissan's intention to be a strong player in the sedan segment for many years to come," explains Shiro Nakamura, senior vice president and chief creative officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (NML), who supervised the global design effort. "As an expression of our long-term vision for the next generation of great Nissan sedans, Ellure allows us to introduce a new sedan concept – one that honors the sedan's unmatched daytime functionality, yet has a more emotive, almost hidden ambience that comes to life after dark. It's an ideal fit for the needs of its projected owners, women in their '30s and '40s with a sense of sophistication and rebellion."

A Simple Yet Provocatively Modern Exterior

The Ellure exterior expresses the warmth of a sculpture, but is defined by the solid movement of the shapes – and the control of light and dark in a way that is sophisticated yet rebellious. Its designers sought to shift the balance between rational values and emotional ones, expressing both intelligent, sustainable design qualities and a sense of passion and fun. The proportions of the new Ellure respect the basic layout and dimensions of a traditional mid-size sedan, while taking advantage of a next-generation compact hybrid powertrain. This allows the wheels to be pushed out to the corners, creating a stable stance and ample interior room, as well as a highly functional trunk – despite the smooth aerodynamic form.

The exterior projects a sense of strong mass, with a refined contrast between broad planes and strong shoulders. Rather than trying to hide its front-wheel drive dynamics, the body forms drape over the front wheels and radiate outward toward the sides and rear.

The bending of the sheet metal is utterly simple but dynamic – sheer and taut like a shock wave. Ellure is not designed to hide its "sedan-ness," as some so-called 4-door coupes do, but to honor the form with the way light transitions like a ribbon or wave from the bold front grille and lights, through the sculpted shoulder lines and on to the full glass roof and strong rear end. It's all about using a sense of tension and release to keep the shape interesting and the viewer interested.

While not intended to project an obvious "eco" image, the Ellure design includes serious elements of efficiency. The deeply skirted front fascia and bold solid-transparent front grille with small openings direct the wind over and under the body. Ellure also features a full underbody pan, molded side rearview camera housings (utilized in place of traditional outside mirrors), small wheel openings and full transparent covers over 21-inch 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with low-rolling resistance Michelin tires.

"Aerodynamics has become a critical element of design for all vehicles today, not just hybrids or EVs. We've used Ellure to explore subtle ways to reduce or eliminate body openings that can cause drag, such as the solid yet transparent coverings on the wheels and grilles, without impacting the beauty of the vehicle," said Nakamura.

The Ellure grille, with its large polished Nissan badge, was inspired by "Kamishino" Samurai formal coat. Like all of the major chrome accents on the vehicle, the grille slats combine brushed edges and bright surfaces to add a polished, almost jewel-like surfacing. The headlights and taillights incorporate an effect like the layering of fins or wings of a bird – condensed in some areas and spread out in others.

A nod to traditional Japanese design can also be seen in the Ellure's rear end, which is inspired by a "Torii" Shinto shrine gate. The sides of the vehicle are dominated by large 90-degree opening doors with rear-hinged rear doors for full panoramic interior access and easy ingress/egress.

Ellure's full tinted glass roof with integrated interior nighttime accent lighting caps the "duality" of design – transitioning from sophisticated in daylight and a somewhat wilder expression of light and movement at night.

The final accent to the Ellure exterior is the paint treatment. The "Geode" White tri-coat mica paint features pearlescent/gold flake with a blue aspect that varies in appearance by tone and temperature of light.

A "Molten" Interior That Turns Up the Heat

Inside, Ellure's fluid movement of shapes, and control of light and dark, continues with its highly emotive environment. It is one space with two feelings – tailored by day, intimate and inviting by night. The high-contrast, energized warmth of the space imparts an almost molten, thermal energy, which is also captured in the tri-color scheme of "Molten Ice," "Molten Steel" and "Molten Gray."

Picking up the "shock wave" theme of the Ellure exterior, the dramatic instrument panel design flows from door-to-door, seamlessly integrating with the door panels and blending into the lounge-like rear seat to wrap the driver and passengers in an elegant and passionate space. With clean, intuitive touch interfaces, the wide display panel screens present information in a two-level layout, with information arranged by priority of use. The chrome-free leather (eco tanning process) on instrument panel offers a color gradation and use of heat repellent pigment to help reduced glare and air conditioning compensation. The special truncated shape of the steering wheel provides a clearer view of the instrument panel and display screens.

The front seats are covered with a black eco-suede utilizing recycled fibers (100% post industrial PET ultra microfiber). The seat design itself uses transparent red acrylic seatback panels and low shoulder height to reduce the usual "wall" between front and rear passengers. The front passenger seat design includes a forward-facing ottoman, and both front seats include elegant "floating headrests."

The "showpiece" of the interior is the "floating" center console with a sculptural, see-through effect, white leather covering and backlit red nighttime lighting. A console-mounted central controller provides intuitive control for HVAC, audio, navigation and other functions. The all-glass ceiling is embedded with special red mood lighting.

The three-person rear seat, covered in gray ultra-suede, provides the roominess of sedan but the feeling of coupe. The "shock wave" carpeting design, with rings of color radiating from center out, follows the topography of the interior. The carpeting itself is made from handmade strips of 100% wool felt, which is naturally water repellent.

Other interior features include hidden audio system speakers embedded in doors and headrests, interior "alcove" style, recessed lighting design and armrest touch controls with haptic feedback.

"We've provided a private and passionate inside space that the owner can feel is completely her own. Not a hangout space in itself, we see the Ellure interior as mobile social space hosted by the driver," adds Nakamura.

A Proposed Eco Drivetrain

Along with displaying Nissan's future sedan design language, the new Ellure presents a conceptual preview of how future Nissan sedans can balance the conflicting desires for fun-to-drive performance, ample passenger/luggage utility and sustainable mobility.

The Ellure drivetrain is conceived as a supercharged 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder with Intelligent Dual Clutch Control (one motor/two clutch design with lithium-ion battery) and 25 kW electric motor, matched with an Xtronic CVT™ and front-wheel drive. It would also include an independent suspension, regenerative braking, and advanced drive-by-wire electric/hydraulic steering to make sure the driving experience is as dynamic and rewarding as Ellure's physical properties.

Ellure also wears a "PURE DRIVE" badge, indicating it would be part of Nissan's range of low CO2/low fuel consumption internal combustion engine or hybrid vehicles.

PURE DRIVE vehicles use Nissan's most advanced technologies to deliver to customers an optimal balance of top-level fuel consumption and value. Nissan seeks to provide the right solution tailored to market circumstances and customer needs.

The Sedan Re-imagined

With lines that gain energy as they move through the exterior, an interior that is as engaging as it is inviting, and effortless technology embedded with intuitive intelligence, Ellure stands as Nissan's latest expression of innovation for design.

"When all is said and done, the sedan will always be core to the Nissan product portfolio. Our goal is to rejuvenate the sedan's attractiveness to buyers who might have migrated to other segments, or who are coming reluctantly into the category," adds Nakamura. "By respecting its strengths, while recognizing that emotion is as critical as function, Ellure could well be the wave, or more correctly the 'shock wave,' of future sedans."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Love the suicide doors. Hate the execution.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Overall proportions are nice though, and there's something there that does work. So maybe it is the execution that is messing things up for me as well.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I wish Nissan would get away from the flat as a wall side panels. They need to learn about flared fenders that protrude away from the shoulders and wider stances. They all look like they've been squished from the sides. The Maxima headlights just don't work on this front end.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This design is freakin hot. This has to be a preview of the next Altima cause the current Maxima is just in its second year, the next generation Altima is scheduled to drop 2012 as a 2013. Also its powered by a 2.5 turbo four which makes sense for the base Altima. The current Altima uses a 2.5L four. Return of the Altima SE-R drop it in the coupe version.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If Nissan scaled this design up a couple notches while retaining the amazing styling as well as the suicide doors and the open interior design and installed a V6/Electric powerplant and RWD/AWD - this could be a most excellent Infiniti Q.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ... Wut the ? The Q?

        The old Q is the size of the new Infiniti M. If anything, the new Q will be at least as big as the M. And it would have 4 real doors and would probably have 2 to 4 more cylinders. I've remember there was an article on why they're not going to make the Q. The market segment is too small and there won't be a good enough profit return to justify the R&D cost. Beside they probably rather waste their money on the awesome GT-R and perhaps the Infiniti GT-R, the Essence.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's about time they replace the Altima. That design seems like it has been around forever, and I never liked it in the first place, even though I am a big fan of Nissan.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Could it be that practical, beautiful, large greenhouses are coming back into vogue? Are we finally climbing out of our coffins and into crystal cathedrals?

      Also, that is one of the most beautiful interiors I've seen.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That grille looks suspiciously Cadillac-like.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed. Looks more on the Lexus side. This is one hot ride if this will be Altima's design.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I like that grille better than the CTS grille. It's big, but not over the top.
        • 4 Years Ago
        As far as the grill goes, I don't like the chrome or the execution, but I love the silhouette. A different grill and perhaps redo the area below the grill so that it doesn't look so sterile. Overall, a very beautiful car!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not likely for the suicide doors - they're a show touch to show off the interior. Expect a regular B-pillar and regular doors.

        BTW, the grille is much more complex than the Caddy eggcrate. It's got more curves and angles to it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks great! Like an evolution of the current gen Maxima...

      Powertrain is interesting also...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I want to say it looks like the Silvia concept, because to me it Screams Silvia!
      But I know that's not what it is. Again Nissan you continue to impress with your new models!
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's got a surprising amount of style and character for a Japanese car. If I didn't know better I might have guessed that it's a Peugeot.

      The headlight design works on this concept, but looks abysmal on the Maxima and 370Z, unfortunately.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice effort!

      This came from the same company that did the upcoming Quest atrocity?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Aw, come now, I like the Quest. It's the Murano CC that makes me wonder about Nissan
        • 4 Years Ago
        Aw, come now, I like the Quest. It's the Murano CC that makes me wonder about Nissan
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like it, especially for a Nissan. However, I'm not a fan of shark headlamps.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think it looks great, but I still don't like their headlight and taillights. I do understand how it ties into their current design theme though...

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