Geneva motor show: Nissan’s Sway concept ditches Micra’s dull look

Striking styling is believed to be close to final production version but will the Micra name be dropped?

 

Really, that’s a Micra? Well, not exactly. This is the Sway, Nissan’s concept car for the 2015 Geneva motor show, but it is a serious preview of how the next-generation of Nissan’s small car may look.

From the boomerang headlamps, the the rising, wedge-y windowline, the Sway couldn’t be more different from the round roly-poly styling of every Mirca since 1992.

There’s even a big glass roof with a built-in ‘X-structure’ which asymmetrically centres above the front seats. The outside is painted in a unique paint finish called ‘bluish dawn grey’ which is reflected inside in a slightly darker blue with ivory and orange highlights.

The shape of the dash, and its rather pared-back minimalist nature, is inspired by the retro-seventies Idx concept cars from last year. There are only two main instrument dials and everything else is taken car of by a centrally mounted tablet screen.

In proper concept car fashion, the Sway also does without a central door pillar, which allows you to open up the cabin much more, but don’t expect that to make it through to production – rear hinged doors would just be far too expensive to engineer for a car with a Micra price tag?

But what about the Micra name? Well, Nissan was dropping big hints last week that the name wouldn’t survive the beyond the current generation, and the fact that the concept has a simple, easy-to-recognise name (Sway would fit neatly into Nissan’s current model lineup) seems to suggest that the Micra name is not going to live much longer. Nissan will also be keen to draw a line under the poor sales performance of the current Micra, which was primarily engineered for emerging markets and which, subsequently, failed utterly to appeal to European buyers.

“We believe that the Sway continues our tradition of challenging the status quo in market segments by bringing something fresh, distinctive and striking, much as we did with Qashqai and Juke. With this new concept car for Geneva, we are experimenting to see how Nissan might be able to bring fresh ideas to the compact hatchback segment,” said Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President, Design and Chief Creative Officer, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.

Paul Willcox, Chairman Nissan Europe, said: “Nissan is on the move. The brand stands for bold, innovative thinking in the European automotive market - indeed around the globe - and our growth in Europe is led by outstanding new products, which are defined by outstanding design. The Sway underlines how important design is for Nissan in building our brand and driving our growth.”