March 04, 2003 The Nissan Evalia concept car, making its world-wide debut at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show, combines all the practicality expected from a conventional mini MPV with the excitement more usually associated with a compact coupé. The design, from Nissan Design Europe in London, is a study for the next Tino and features double-hinged barn-type doors with no central B-pillar.
The front mask graphic is one of the high points of the exterior. Nissan has been developing this flying wings theme since the mid-nineties but this is the best interpretation of it so far. Both front and rear lamps are located in the fenders and follow the vertical design of the 350Z sportscar. The headlamp design, underscored by the bar of neon DI lamps jutting into the trapezoid nostrils, comprises a very strong and memorable front face.
At the rear, the tailgate extends deep into the roof with a wide wraparound rear window. Interestingly, some observers felt there are faint echos of the Renault Koleos about the way the side DLO and roof come together with crossing shutlines and the surf-tail roofline but then, its a sister company of Nissans.
Inside, the taste is Modern and Minimalist according to Principal Designer Martin Uhlarik. Evalia has four deeply sculpted floating seats supported on a central support rail and sports an integrated child seat which lifts out to double as a baby buggy when locked onto a three-wheeler chassis. The dashboard theme is that of a biplane wing with separate storage cartridges contained within it that slot into a combined fridge/microwave unit. These can be filled with personal provisions such as fruit, drinks or baby food enabling parents to feed toddlers en-route. Diffused lighting in white or orange can be changed to suit the drivers mood, adding another sensory dimension to Evalia. A couple of final touches: the steel blue leather used on the IP and doors uses a new laser-cut technique to create a graduated fan pattern and the trunk features 99 trackballs which electrically retract once the luggage is smoothly rolled in.
If the flavour of this concept can be maintained into the next Tino, Nissan could well be onto a winner.