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Nissan's adventurous concept car
For the 2006 Geneva Motor Show

Nissan Terranaut concept car for the 2006 Geneva Auto Show -  front side view.

Terranaut: working environment for scientists, geologists...

3rd February 2006.

Nissan chose the 76th Geneva Motor Show (public days from 2 to 12 March) to display two quite different concept cars, with six of its new vehicles.

The first concept, the Nissan Terranaut, will have its world premiere at Geneva. Its is 4x4 vehicle which Nissan targets to "explorers and those customers with a spirit of adventure who want to travel to the extreme corners of the globe".

On the other side of this ambitious program, comes the second concept car, the Pivo, which was shown at the Tokyo Motor Show last October.

Behind its minimalist look, the Pivo concept hides a very clever battery-powered city car. As Nissan puts it, Pivo has been designed to serve as customers who want freedom and mobility in the busiest of urban environments.

In a certain way, the Pivo tackles adventure from its own urban perspective, with so much flexibility in turning around, seeing all-round. One thing is certain: it just doesn't fly.

Nissan Terranaut concept car for the 2006 Geneva Auto Show - inside

Terranaut cabin: for a driver, a passenger and, a scientist or specialist.

Terranaut - In its ambitiously global program, the Terranaut was conceived to serve as a mobile working environment for scientists, geologists, archaeologists or other adventurers who travel to the most challenging environments on the planet either for their work - or pleasure.

Its cabin is designed to accommodate three people – a driver, a passenger and, in the rear, where a scientist or specialist is well served with a computer console, as well as communication and analysis equipment to support them in their work.

A creation of London-based Nissan Design Europe, the overriding theme behind the concept is one of function. Project leader Felipe Roo Clefas, Assistant Chief Designer, NDE, says: “Terranaut has been designed for observation and communication in all four corners of the world.”

To accommodate the laboratory area within the cabin, the co-pilot’s side of the car has just one door, while the other side has a pair of swing doors and no central B-pillar. By hinging the doors at the front and rear respectively, ingress and egress is made easy.

Nineteen-inch wheels are covered by tyres specially constructed for Terranaut by Goodyear. Puncture proof, they function as conventional road tyres when the vehicle is being driven on metalled roads but, by changing air pressure, transform themselves into chunky off-road tyres.

Inside the vehicle, the spherical science laboratory dominates the entire cabin area behind the two front seats. A single revolving seat with an integrated computer keyboard is situated beneath the glass roof dome and gives the scientist complete 360-degree access to the various workstations found in Terranaut.

Pivo - At the other end of the scale, the Pivo examines the future potential of the electric vehicle in a city environment. It is powered by a Nissan-developed high performance Compact Lithium-ion battery and Nissan’s own electric Super Motor.

Nissan’s design team in Japan has been able to develop an extremely compact body to give Pivo the perfect footprint for the city. Although just 2,700mm from bumper to bumper, Pivo will seat three in comfort, with the driver placed centrally and ahead of the two passengers in the rear of the cabin. Thanks to its narrow width – just 1,600 mm – it can be squeezed down busy streets and parked almost anywhere with ease.

Nissan Pivo concept car

Pivo: no less adventurous than Terranaut, but in its own urban way.

But Pivo’s pièce de résistance lies in its cabin which, as its names implies, pivots through 360 degrees and means you’ll never have to reverse again: Pivo can be driven straight into a parking slot and, once the body has been swivelled around to face the opposite direction, driven straight out again (read more about the Pivo technologies).

The egg-shaped revolving body has other benefits. The tall, electrically-powered sliding doors, for example, make ingress and egress easy with little or no chance for bumped heads while ‘see-through’ pillars and Nissan’s Around View Monitor mean that blind spots are all but eliminated.

Cameras mounted on the outside of each A-pillar relay an accurate picture of the surroundings to screens within the pillars turning them into virtual windows. More cameras mounted at both ends and on both sides of the car allows the Around View Monitor to generate a 360-degree view of the car’s surroundings on a dashboard monitor. An innovative image processing technique converts these images into a single bird’s-eye view.

Besides the two concept cars, the Nissan stand will display all six vehicles which have been launched in 2005: Murano, 350Z Roadster, Pathfinder SUV, Navara King and Double Cab pick ups and the Micra C+C. In addition, the NOTE, Nissan’s new compact family car, will be on display just as sales start across Europe.

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