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Nissan reveals striking Concept 20-23 hatchback

Nissan has revealed a concept car to celebrate 20 years of its UK-based European design centre.

Called the Concept 20-23, the special car was unveiled by Nissan president and CEO Makoto Uchida on a floating barge moored on the Grand Union Canal outside Nissan Design Europe (NDE) in Paddington, London.

Concept 20-23 is a city car-based design concept and follows on from other so-called ‘Pike’ Nissan cars, such as the Be-1, Pao, Figaro and S-Cargo. Nissan says the concept car “brings a 21st century twist to this small-car tradition”.

The ’23’ part of the name reflects the current year, naturally, but also the Japanese carmaker’s traditional number – number 2 (ni) and 3 (san).

Nissan says the three-door hot hatchback takes key design themes from its online racing and Formula E activities and features dramatically styled bodywork and wings to aid cooling and cut drag.

The car also features fat, vented arches housing large alloy wheels shod in low-profile tyres, and a large single-piece spoiler with endplates to generate downforce. Finally, the car is painted in a textured grey paint colour to give ‘the impression of being hewn from a single piece of metal’, says Nissan.

Concept 20-23 is an exterior design study only, but the Paddington-based designers also designed a separate interior. It’s here where Concept 20-23 takes many themes from Nissan’s participation in virtual and physical motorsport, as the car features two bucket racing seats, a steering wheel ‘festooned with multiple controls and adjustments’, and two screens displaying vital driving information.

Speaking at the unveiling in London, Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice president for global design, said: “The young team here at NDE was given a simple brief: design a fun electric city car that you’d like to drive every day in London.

“The 20-23 Concept that they designed is a compact hatchback which is strongly influenced by the online racing world. I love the story it tells about how the worlds of modern city living, online gaming and zero emissions mobility intersect.”

He added: “It’s a fitting celebration of 20 years of NDE where bold ideas have taken shape and come to life!”

Opened in 2003, NDE resides in a Grade II listed building on the Paddington Basin stretch of the Grand Union canal. It has designed top-selling Nissans over the last two decades including the Qashqai and Juke crossovers, and one-off concepts such as the Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo.

For more motoring news visit timesmotors.com.