The Nissan Vmotion 2.0 concept is not the next Altima. However, it is a highly stylized and strikingly handsome hint of what we could see in a future midsize sedan from Nissan. Along with styling elements ranging from easily doable to a little silly, the Vmotion 2.0 showcases future technology for Nissan, with autonomous driving, a "glass cockpit" dash, and a high-tech audio system.

We had a chance to take a close look at the Vmotion 2.0 with its lead designer, Ken Lee. "Vmotion," in case you're unfamiliar with the term, is the name Nissan has given to the grille you've seen on its latest cars. "It starts with the chrome Vmotion grille in the center," Lee says, "but it takes on a more three-dimensional, much bolder appearance," he explained. The grille floats in the center of the nose, its faceted acrylic internal elements surrounded by a thick chrome band, with a Nissan badge dead center. The badge itself -- along with the similarly faceted rear diffuser -- lights up when the driver activates the Vmotion 2.0's ProPILOT autonomous mode, giving others a visual indication that the car is driving itself. 

Flowing design

Flanking the grille are large vents which create the illusion of flowing through the front wheels into vents on front doors behind the wheels. Cool styling details abound, like the thinned out versions of Nissan's "boomerang" headlights and taillights. We're particularly smitten with the rear end, which not only features a similar faceted acrylic rear diffuser, but a sheetmetal protrusion beyond the taillights that look at first glance like tailfins. The windshield glass pours down onto the hood, fin-like camera pods take the place of side mirrors, and the wheels get carbon-fiber trim. The car itself is painted in a metallic finish that alternates between silver and gold, with just a hint of copper.

What Lee calls "emotional geometry" gets showcased most effectively on the sides of the car. "Every surface here is twisting," he notes, despite the initial straight-edge appearance. The twisting of the metal even alters the way light hits the car, giving the illusion of a two-tone paint job from some angles.

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The front and rear doors open wide to reveal a lounge-like interior for four passengers, each with their own cocoon-like seat. The interior "is a nice contrast to what's on the outside," Lee says, "here there's this sharp, tailored, crisp, dynamic feeling. When you open the doors it's very relaxing and inviting."

Gliding wing instrument panel

The instrument panel is a futuristic interpretation of Nissan's "gliding wing" motif, with all the instruments and displays in a single, continuous screen that stretches across the dash. We particularly like the "threadless quilting" pattern on the seats, molded in as part of the seat cushion itself. The front seats rest upon a zebra wood floor panel, wood elements that are also reflected on the doors. The copper-hinted theme continues on the speaker grilles for the Bose Ultra Nearfield audio system, which lets the passengers listen to their own music without disturbing anybody. Those grilles also feature hexagonal holes, reflecting the similar hexagonal elements inside the grille.

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It’s all pretty high-concept stuff, and there is no production version of this exact car planned. However, despite some of the flowery language used to describe the Vmotion 2.0, there's a lot here that's possible for a production midsize sedan. Granted, you won't see the massive door vents, faceted grille and tail, or carbon-fiber roof trim on the next Altima. But as a preview of what could be, we like what we see.


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