Nissan - Micra C+C
Original name: ニッサン マイクラC + C
Micra concept shows Nissan's possible future
- Micra C+C creates new niche potential for Nissan
- Full four seater
- Innovative folding glass hardtop
- Practical, large boot
Sharing the Paris limelight with the latest Micra is the exciting Micra C+C, a coupe convertible concept that combines the joys of open top motoring with the security and comfort of a four seat coupe.
The design study has been created to answer a need from people with a taste for high quality, appreciate style and like to express their personalities. It is a practical solution for those who would like to enjoy open-air motoring during the summer months but who also want to use the car regularly in the winter. It also provides security for young city dwellers without a private garage who are concerned about leaving a conventional soft top parked on the street.
Aimed at individuals who enjoy being the centre of attention, the Micra C+C has a hardtop roof to keep the weather and worse at bay, yet open-air motoring is available at the touch of a button. Typical customers would be single or married with no children, with a high disposable income and above all, extrovert personalities.
As well as the innovative roof, it also showcases a lavish hand stitched leather interior as well as the latest in on-board telematics, showing that satellite navigation and sophisticated communication technology is no longer the preserve of luxury cars.
With the glass roof in place, the interior is light, bright and welcoming. But at the touch of a button, the retractable hardtop takes just 20 seconds to fold away into the boot leaving behind a chic convertible ready for the summer sun.
But, in line with Nissan's philiosophy, the Micra C+C is not only an original style, but it remains a resolutely practical car. Unlike the hardtop convertibles currently on the market, the Micra's glass roof does not steal all the available luggage space. Thanks to a complex folding arrangement, when the Micra's roof is stowed away in the boot there remains sufficient luggage space for suitcases or the weekly supermarket shop.
A conventional retractable two-piece hardtop is hinged above the rear window and folds away like a clam shell. Owing to the curvature of the roof and the rear window, this unsatisfactory method leaves a large - and unusable - void between the two panels when stowed.
In the Micra C+C, however, to maximise utility the innovative folding arrangement means the two panels fit inside one another like spoons in a cutlery drawer, and take up far less boot space as a result.
With the roof folded the boot holds an impressive 200 litres of luggage - with the roof in place, the boot space rises to 310 litres and again to 400 litres when the centre rear seat is folded flat and the through load facility is used. There is also masses of space for personal belongings, too, with a large 11 litre glovebox and a 10 litre storage area underneath the front passenger seat.
The Micra C+C is pure Micra below the dominant waistline but totally different above. An extended windscreen with an exaggerated curve towards its leading edge blends into a two-piece glass 'bubble'. The entire assembly covers a roomy and luxurious interior: unlike some compact convertibles, the versatile Micra C+C is a full four seater.
From the side, the Micra C+C retains the same arched profile of the Micra hatchback, though with a slightly extended tail, and lower profile, sporty looking roof line. A neat integrated rear spoiler above the deck lid also houses a high level third brake light. The Micra C+C is the same width as the hatchback and sits on an identical 2,432mm wheelbase but is not as tall - the height has been reduced by 85mm.
The lavish interior reflects the character of the Micra C+C. Fully trimmed in hand stitched leather, the two tone interior uses a bold, natural looking dark brown trim on the centre console and central tunnel to contrast with the tasteful cream finish of the seats. A novel translucent plastic with a marble-like appearance is used around the switchgear and other controls.
Friendly technology, as featured on the Micra, can also be found on the Micra C+C. It has an Intelligent Key, which permits remote locking and unlocking of the car without having to fumble for the key, as well as practical 'friendly lights' which light the way to the front door late at night, and rain sensing wipers.
Micra C+C also features Nissan's advanced "Carwings" telematics information system, which not only provides cost effective satellite navigation and other driver information, but also allows e-mails to be sent or received when the car is on the move.
The entire project, which has been developed in Europe, took just 18 months from start to finish.
Shiro Nakamura, Nissan's Senior Vice President, Design, said: "We believe the Micra C+C is a dynamic, expressive and strong looking car with a wide appeal to both sexes. But as well as having great lifestyle and aspirational appeal, we wanted Micra C+C to be a practical car. By combining the strong, emotional attraction of a coupe with the advanced utility of four seats, and large trunk area given by the clever folding roof arrangement, we feel we have achieved that: it is a distinctive and well-thoughtout solution."
Christopher Reitz, Studio Chief Designer at Nissan Design Europe, added: "The philosophy that created the new Micra has also been applied to the Micra C+C. It is a sophisticated and elegant car but one which also has a practical appeal. The interior has space for four people, for example. Yes, it is a concept car, but it is very relevant the Micra philosophy - but an even stronger statement."