Nissan’s NV400 makes UK debut
Nissan's all new NV400 will present a unique, distinctive proposition in the LCV market when sales begin in 2011. NV400, a big brother to NV200 and being given its world debut at Hanover, adopts a bold interpretation of Nissan's familiar ‘balanced angle strut' grille giving it genuine on-road presence.
The look is reminiscent of the design used on Nissan's acclaimed range of SUVs and Pick-Ups and the self-assured, grounded appearance is designed to accentuate the new van's undoubted strengths.
The all-new NV400 adopts Nissan's new naming strategy for its light commercial vehicles and joins the award winning NV200. All future Nissan vans will adopt the NV nomenclature, all Pick-ups will be called NP and forthcoming larger trucks will be badged NT.
The NV400's visual identity was created at Nissan Design Europe and engineered at Nissan Technical Centre Europe. Led by Studio Chief Designer Atsushi Maeda, the NDE team has adapted three key elements of the Nissan look - bonnet, grille and headlamps - to create a range of vans and trucks guaranteed to stand out from the crowd.
Dominated by the circular Nissan badge, the central black honeycomb grille is dissected by wide angled struts that form extensions of distinctive twin indentations in the bonnet to form a broad ‘V' shape to the nose of the vehicle. On either side of the chromed struts are smaller air intake grilles which themselves are flanked by broad trapezoidal lamp assemblies.
The final piece of the NV400 look is the deep and robust matt black bumper which incorporates indentations for driving/fog lamps and a central air intake grille. On either side of the bumper a distinctive scoop not only adds strength to the assembly but also adds to the purposeful look of the van.
"NV400 will share all the practical aspects of the various versions of the range, but we wanted our adaptation to have a genuinely different look. The adoption of the Nissan angle strut grille - pioneered on models such as Pathfinder and Navara - certainly does that," said Maeda.
The frontal design changes between NV400 and other versions of the van are comprehensive. NV400 has a unique bonnet, front wings, grille and bumper assembly.
"The bonnet line on NV400 is much higher than on other versions of the van," said Maeda. "This helps give a more pronounced and dominant front end. This, in turn, has allowed us to use a taller and broader version of the angle strut grille.
"We have ensured the headlamp treatment is quite different, too. The grille and headlight assemblies have been designed as a single piece of architecture rather than a series of interlocking shapes to give that grounded, stable shape. The result exaggerates the vehicle's width making it appearing more dynamic."
The line of the bonnet's leading edge extends through the headlight assembly. The top half of the assembly houses the direction indicators with the highly efficient dipped and main beam lamps beneath: in testing, NV400's lighting performance has comfortably surpassed those of rival vans.
The final touch is the bumper assembly. Although broadly similar to the bumper used on other versions of the van, NDE has been able to reprofile the top edge where it kisses the grille and headlamps. "The changes here are subtle, but significant and also help give NV400 a completely different look," added Maeda.