Nissan’s new electric car concept is an aggro-looking hot hatch

Nissan’s new electric car concept is an aggro-looking hot hatch
Nissan’s new electric car concept is an aggro-looking hot hatch

Nissan is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Nissan Design Europe centre in London with an electric hot hatch concept.

The 20-23 Concept closely resembles the previously teased electric Micra, and the concept indicates what Nissan may produce in the hot hatch segment as the Japanese brand continues its electric overhaul.

The Micra will use the same Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMF B-EV platform as the Renault 5 light car, which is spawning a hot hatch version of its own in the Alpine A290.

It’s unclear whether Nissan will offer a hot version of the Micra that more closely resembles this concept.

Nissan intends to only offer electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe by 2030, with all new models launched from now to be electric.

Although Nissan hasn’t revealed the dimensions of the concept car, it’s inspired by its cute Pike cars from the early 1990s: the Be-1, Pao, Figaro and S-Cargo.

‘All-electric’ was the only description Nissan provided for the concept’s powertrain.

As well as drawing from elements of Nissan’s previous small cars, the Concept 20-23 also uses elements of online gaming and the brand’s racing efforts in Formula E to inform the model’s design.

Nissan’s senior VP for global design, Alfonso Albaisa, said “The young team here at NDE was given a simple brief: design a fun electric city car that you’d like to drive every day in London.

“The 20-23 Concept that they designed is a compact hatchback which is strongly influenced by the online racing world. I love the story it tells about how the worlds of modern city living, online gaming and zero emissions mobility intersect.”

Nissan’s NDE was the design team responsible for some of the brand’s core models like the Qashqai and Juke, thanks to the host of exterior, interior, and colour designers it employs.

The young designers at Nissan have produced an extremely sporty-looking hatchback with deep side skirts and a low ride height with low profile tyres.

A thin air intake on the roof, where it meets the windscreen header, provides ventilation to the cabin.

Pronounced wheel arches are topped with slim cooling vents, which Nissan says reduces the pressure that can create air resistance in the wheel bay.

Two-part circular headlights, as seen on the Micra, also incorporate the indicators. The simple lighting design is repeated in the rear and is accompanied by a light bar at both ends.

There’s a pronounced rear spoiler which Nissan says doesn’t interfere with visibility.

Nissan went with two scissor doors hinging upwards from the A-pillar to add to the drama of the concept, and for both driver and passenger to enter their deep bucket seats they would have to climb over a racecar-style brace bar.

Inside the cabin, the designers have kept tech to a minimum to represent ‘a racing car’s bare functionality’, only placing minimal physical controls around a steering yoke with paddle shifters.

Micra teaser

While the Concept 20-23 is intended to show off the office’s design ambitions, the sporting influences point towards the possibility of a Nismo-variant Micra performance model in the future.

The brand confirmed last year that its future electric vehicles could receive extra performance and flair courtesy of tuning arm Nismo.

Nissan plans to launch 27 electrified vehicles globally by 2030, including 19 battery-electric models.

It aims to launch an EV with its proprietary all-solid-state batteries by fiscal year 2028.

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