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Offering an early view of what lies ahead in its four-door future, Nissan unveiled this striking one-off at the LA Auto Show. In addition to its distinctive exterior and unique interior elements, the Nissan Ellure Concept also incorporates an innovative next-gen hybrid powertrain intended to balance practical needs with increasingly stringent ecological demands.
While admitting that the full-size Ellure is not a direct precursor to any specific production model, Shiro Nakamura, senior vice president and chief creative officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd and supervisor of this global design effort, does call it "an expression of our long-term vision for the next generation of great Nissan sedans" and one that "introduces a new sedan design language" that respects the functionality but also embodies a far more evocative character 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."
Reaching for the outer limits
Finished in Geode White tri-coat mica paint that features blue-tinged pearlescent/gold flakes that vary the appearance by tone and temperature of light, the Ellure's exterior reflects a sensual blend of aerodynamic lines, organic forms and distinctive aero/eco-enhancing details. The Ellure's prominent grille form -- inspired by the "Kamishino," a Samurai warrior's formal outer coat -- incorporates solid/transparent elements with small openings that efficiently channel air over and under the body. A host of other innovative touches, including a full undertray, integrated side-view cameras in place of conventional mirrors and Michelin low-rolling-resistance tires on special 21-inch alloy wheels with drag-reducing transparent inserts do their part to help the car slice through the wind more adroitly.
The Ellure's well-integrated boomerang-shaped front and rear lamp treatments incorporate what Nissan calls a "Vibrant Tsubasa" effect that recalls the varied layering of fins or wings to create an added dimension of depth as well as provide excellent illumination. Its fully transparent panorama roof and a rear fascia inspired by the Torii gate that marks a Shinto shrine complete the Ellure's bold take on the future.
Seeking the best of both worlds
Rendered in tones of "Molten Ice," "Molten Steel" and "Molten Gray" Inside, the Ellure boasts an equally evocative inner sanctum which can be easily accessed thanks to the absence of a traditional B-pillar and the presence of rear-hinged rear doors that swing out a full 90 degrees. The design team wanted to create an airy space that also embodied a daytime/nighttime duality that reflected the inherent work/play functionality a sedan still needs to possess. A wraparound dash with intuitive touch interfaces for the audio/navigation/climate controls, a floating center console, modernistic seating forms including a lounge-like rear bench, and variable ambient lighting set the tone while extensive use of recycled/recyclable materials reinforce the need to address long-term sustainability.
The final piece of the Ellure puzzle is found underhood, where it's "PURE DRIVE" hybrid powertain matches a 2.4-liter supercharged 2.5-liter inline-four that makes 240 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque with the automaker's Intelligent Dual Clutch Control one-motor/two-clutch configuration that will also be used in the 2012 Infiniti M35h Hybrid. The electic side of the system consists of a 25kW (35 hp) electric motor that produces 147 lb-ft of torque engegized by an advanced lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack. All of this motive force heads to the front wheels via Nissan's Xtronic CVT transmission and will allow the Ellure to operate using either or both output sources as driving conditions demand.