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The recognition of Brazil as an automotive hotspot is reflected in the all-new Nissan Extrem concept, which will make its global debut at tomorrow’s Sao Paulo Motor Show.

The Nissan Extrem was designed especially for Brazil by Nissan Design America (NDA) in San Diego, California, in collaboration with Brazilian designers. Although strictly a concept at this stage, the Extrem offers a glimpse at the design of Nissan’s future crossovers for developing markets.

“Brazil is a country of great natural beauty and it has a passionate, rich culture. But this is not always reflected in the cars on its streets, especially the more affordable locally produced vehicles, which tend to be conservative in design, colour and specification,” said NDA chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura.

“Extrem, with a dynamic high-character design, is far from conservative. It was created to appeal to the country’s growing band of city-based young professionals who are passionate about design and who want to make a personal statement. The lightweight two-door 2+2, has a dynamic stance, fresh surfacing, and a clear rugged ability to tackle the urban jungle everyday,” Nakamura added.

NDA senior design manager for the Extrem project Robert Bauer calls it the “Baby Beast”.

“We see it as an urban rally car, a tough little street fighter that can handle the urban jungle with agility and confidence.”

As a compact 2+2, there’s room for luggage in the rear with a two-tier storage system where valuables can be stored securely beneath a removable bin that is accessed via the rear hatch.

Power for the Nissan Extrem would come from Nissan’s 1.6-litre direct injection turbocharged petrol engine, which is related to the powertrain in the Nissan DeltaWing Le Mans racecar.

The Extrem could also be offered in both front- and all-wheel drive utilising torque vectoring for better handling.

Nissan is striving for a five per cent share of the new car market in Brazil by 2014 with eight new models planned by 2016. Nissan has also committed $2.6 billion to build a new manufacturing plant in Rio de Janeiro, with production to commence in 2014. The facility will be capable of producing up to 200,000 vehicles every year.