Nissan is an interesting car company, on one hand it makes models like the Nissan GT-R which annihilate supercars two or three times its price. On the other hand it makes cars like the Nissan LEAF, a full electric car that is set to revolutionize the car as we know it.
Going one step further than that, Nissan also makes rather funky, super-practical, yet super-dorky cars like the Nissan Cube and the recently unveiled Nissan Townpod Electric Vehicle Concept.
With the development of the Nissan LEAF well and truly underway, the Japanese company is in a great position to utilise the car's electric drive system to produce numerous other electric car models.
From the front the Townpod EV concept looks like something out a Pixar animation, a happy smiling face everyone can love. Definitely Japanese.
Spin it around and the rear looks like something out of a low-budget sci-fi movie. Simple but effective. Perhaps that's the whole idea with the Townpod.
Nissan says cars must adapt to the way we conduct our lives and the Townpod is a perfect example of this. It's difficult to argue that point, given how versatile the Townpod looks. Just admire the way the doors open.
Even the headlights serve a dual purpose. They can either be position markers when the blue "petals" are closed or just be headlights when open. Even the indicators can act as reflectors thanks to a semi-silvered coating.
On the inside the interior is designed to be simple, yet still maintain some form of style. The dual screen setup is set to act a central control for all the car's functions.
Interestingly it will also sync up with your PDA/Smartphone and work out what your schedule is, so if you happen to jump in the car and your iPhone calendar says you've got a 2'oclock in Sydney CBD, it will automatically program the satellite navigation system to get you there. Clever.
However, Nissan knows that iPhones and other smartphones may not be the 'in' thing five years down the track so the system has been built to accommodate future devices as much as possible (in both physical form and technology).
According to Nissan the Townpod is a car for the world's entrepreneurs. However it should also find some buyers amongst new families building their first home or older folks looking for a practical car.
"The self employed tend to have very high expectations. They need to make the most of every investment. They will be early adopters of the possibilities made available through the convergence of electric-vehicle innovations and information and technology. At its core, a car is a means to transport people or goods from one place to another as simply and easily as possible. Nissan Townpod's design supports the essence of its function. It is a smart car for people who demand more." François Bancon, Nissan's general manager of Exploratory & Advance Planning Department.
Would you consider a Nissan Townpod EV? Seriously, who can resist that cute face?