Nissan INVITATION - Geneva Motor Show 2012

Nissan says, “From front to rear, the exterior has a very strong dynamic movement, with the front and rear displaying iconic headlamps and tail lamps. This sets the car apart from our competitors.” – Shiro Nakamura, Head of Design, Nissan Group.

Spec Sheet: Nissan’s next generation B-segment contender. A low drag coefficient and lightweight platform means the INVITATION offers class-leading efficiency to match the concept’s clean, fluid silhouette.

With salient lines and a colour scheme rivaled in conspicuity only by Bertone’s Nuccio concept (incidentally the same colour), the INVITATION caught a lot of attention on the show floor for many of the right reasons. Leaving caps lock on, however, wasn’t one of them.

There’s symmetry to the INVITATION that has been lacking in recent Nissan designs, notably the Juke, and this is as much due to the little details as it is to the overall shape. Notice how the headlights use two solid lines and the rear lights use three and the way the car’s roofline rises almost imperceptibly at the rear? Balance. The concept’s surfaces are also tighter and less superfluous than models in the range that the production version will eventually join, and join it will. Unlike many manufacturers, Nissan’s concepts often come through to production relatively unscathed – look to the Quashqai or Juke for a case in point. Not all is zen on the INVITATION as there seems to have been an argument over how the area between the C-pillar and beltline meet that looks tense and unresolved.

“It’s very dynamic in its looks and that’s not by accident, that’s by design,” said Michael Auliar, Nissan Europe’s Product Manager for small cars, on the INVITATION’s turntable show stand before revealing that Nissan aim for all production variants to put out less than 120 g/km CO2 emissions. “It also uses Nissan’s advanced engine technology and our new V-platform technology to deliver strong fuel efficiency,” added Auliar.

In case you were wondering about the distinct arrow-shaped line adorning the side of the INVITATION, Nissan call it the ‘squash’ line. The reason being that it traces the trajectory of a squash ball bouncing off a wall…simple as that.