The new Nissan EV will shock viewers with its appearance, Nakamura explained to Automotive News, adding that this is a tactic designed on purpose to make sure the public knows that this is an all-electric car and not just a hybrid. In this vein, the car will be avoiding the wedge-shape adopted by the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight like the plague, and instead will be drawing on specific EV features distinguish it.
Perhaps the most striking of these features will be the car's lack of a grille - after all, the electric drivetrain doesn't really need one. Since there is no bulky engine up front, the car will also have a very low hood to help improve aerodynamics and give it a bold appearance. Even if pedestrians ignore all those 'subtle' clues to car's electric status, a recharging plug will be visible on its nose, leaving no doubt about the power source.
Nakamura also revealed that the design has a drag coefficient of 0.30. The third-generation Prius has 0.25 and the Insight 0.28, but Nissan hopes to make further improvements by tweaking the design and adding underbody fittings to smooth air flow.
While the car won't be as constrained in its design as conventional vehicles, its designers were not exactly given free reign considering that it will sit on an existing Nissan platform. Because of this, the designers couldn't fully exploit the design possibilities presented by the electric car, but this has also helped them keep costs of development down.
This fact will change in the future as Nissan develops specific platforms for electric vehicles and lets its designers work from scratch. In the mean time, Nissan is hoping that its new design will be bold enough to stand out in the upcoming crowd of electric vehicles.
For more details about the upcoming car, including powertrains and pricing, click here. The carmaker has also given us a preview of the car in the form of the Nuvu concept, which was revealed last year at the Paris Motor Show.