Nissan Friend-ME Concept was Designed for Young Chinese Buyers


Nissan unveiled the all-new Friend-ME concept at the Shanghai Auto Show this weekend, with the Japanese automaker saying the car was designed for young Chinese buyers, a segment that will soon become the world’s largest.
The company says the Friend-ME is a sedan, although it looks more like a hatchback. Nevertheless, since China is the world’s largest market for sedans, Nissan’s claim is understandable. The four-seater car displays a bold design, but its flowing sculpted lines remind more of Lexus concept car than a Nissan study. The car is the fruit of collaboration between design teams from Nissan Design China (NDC) and Nissan Global Design Center (NGDC).
The low and wide stance with short front and rear overhangs offer Friend-ME a dynamic look as well as a touch of aggressiveness. The centerpiece of the car’s design is the V-shaped grille that is continued by flowing lines on each side of the vehicle, while the boomerang-shaped headlights and taillights contribute to the car’s sharp styling. The profile stands out thanks to the thin and floating roof and the kick-up shape around the C-pillar.
On the inside, the two seats on each row are separated by a center console, which displays information about speed, navigation, fuel remaining to all four passengers. The idea behind this is that all passengers are equal.
Based on an existing Nissan sedan architecture (the automaker didn't say which one), the Friend-ME study requires a minimum of unique components – which means the transition to series production could be done easily. The PureDrive hybrid powertrain would also make the Friend-ME an eco-friendly proposition.
While Nissan says the concept is “applicable globally”, it was built according to the aspirations of the "Bālínghòu", a term that designates the generation of Chinese born in the 1980s, following the introduction of the one-child policy. This category of buyers is expected to emerge as the world’s largest single market segment, since it includes 240 million people. More specifically, Nissan says the concept addresses the social dynamics of Chinese men in their mid-20s.
By Dan Mihalascu




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