Paris round-up: Nissan's compact future

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The Nissan Nuvu concept car

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October 27, 2008 In addition to the futuristic Nuvu concept car premiered in Paris, Nissan also provided a taste of what's in store for the more immediate future with the new Pixo - a five-door, four-seater that boasts very low fuel consumption and emissions - the introduction of an all-new combined satellite nav and infotainment system known as Nissan Connect and a revised version of the Note compact car.

The Nuvu, literally meaning ‘new view’, is an electric vehicle that features small, leaf shaped solar panels across its all glass roof that feed power to the battery. Just 3 meters long and with 2+1 seating – meaning it has two regular seats and a third occasional chair that can be folded down when required, Nissan sees it is a practical proposition for a typical supermarket or shopping expedition with an integral luggage area providing sufficient space. The Nuvu uses natural, organic and recycled materials within the cabin, but the leaf shaped solar panels on the roof that feed power to the battery using a ‘tree trunk’ within the car as a conduit, is perhaps taking the green analogy a little too far. Nissan has already announced plans to introduce an all-electric car in Japan and the US in 2010 and to mass-market it globally in 2012. Nuvu is not that car, though it does share some of the technology that will feature in the planned production vehicle.

The new Pixo is a five-door, four-seater with a roomy interior and generous luggage space. With a three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine and lightweight construction, the car promises very low fuel consumption and emissions and as an "all-rounder", it's designed to be agile enough for city driving, while the availability of a full four-speed automatic also makes it capable of longer journeys.

Nissan also displayed the revised Note with the most obvious changes being a completely new design of grille, bumper and headlight. At the rear, the signature ‘boomerang’ lights are now darker and two new designs of alloy wheels – 15” and 16” – are available. For the driver, a new combi-meter has been introduced, giving improved legibility and clarity and there is also a new central instrument panel, giving a cleaner appearance to the center console. Under the skin, improvements have been made to the Note’s suspension and, following revisions to its engine and gearbox ratios and the introduction of a diesel particulate filter earlier this year, the latest 1.5-litre dCi powered Note produces CO2 of just 119g/km. Additionally, from October, customers will benefit from reduced CO2 emissions from the Note’s 1.4-litre petrol engine. Thanks to revised gear ratios, it will produce 139g/km.

The updates to the Note also herald the introduction of Nissan Connect, Nissan’s all-new combined satellite navigation, audio entertainment and communication system. The system utilizes touch screen technology and combines a satellite navigation system (in nine languages), with an audio system capable of playing CDs (including MP3 and WMA CDs), as well as music via an auxiliary input, USB plug and Bluetooth streaming. The system also provides Bluetooth phone connectivity for hands-free communication.

Sales of the Pixo start from late spring in the UK, while Nissan Connect will be available on Note from January 2009 and will be extended to other Nissan models during the course of 2009.

Loads more Nuvu pics can be found here.

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