The sheer visual presence of Nissan’s latest people carrier needs to be seen up close to be believed.
The NV350 Caravan’s super high windscreen and belt line translates to a massively deep and near-vertical hood and an overall impression of a capable and capacious vehicle channelling both Scooby-Doo’s van and some kind of Star Wars transporter.
Global design boss Shiro Nakamura was on hand to explain to CDN this unusual proportion is caused by having the engine under the driver and passenger seats and thus creates a very high H-point. The downside of this package is a small cabin which goes some way to explaining why the model won’t be sold in the US and Europe. As Nakamura added, “to get in and out you’d have to be quite acrobatic”.
The Tokyo show version features two rows of seats with room for a Kayak inside and massive luggage room behind, but different length versions will allow seating for up to 15, said chief vehicle engineer Atsushi Omura.
The icing on the cake came when we found out about the square porthole in the rear sliding door, which is due to stay on the production version along with almost all of the other elements of this pre-production concept.
Expect the vehicle in showrooms in 130 countries including Japan, Mexico and the Middle East from summer 2012.