Nissan's recent dip in popularity was given a welcome boost by the arrival of the compact yet fiery 350Z sports car, but this daring concept could get enthusiasts' pulses throbbing again...

Nissan's recent dip in popularity was given a welcome boost by the arrival of the compact yet fiery 350Z sports car, but this daring concept could get enthusiasts' pulses throbbing again...

The Nissan Sport Concept is the latest in a series of performance-based concepts aimed at the youth market, and was preceded by the Azeal and Actic concepts, both shown at recent international motor shows.

Sharing its underpinnings with the next Renault Clio via the alliance between the French and German companies, when this concept becomes a production reality (perhaps as the new Almera), will this new dramatic look entice more buyers into the lucrative small car sector?

“The story behind the development of the Sport Concept is that Nissan is thinking big about the small car segment,” said Jack Collins, vice president of product planning for Nissan’s North American subsidiary.

“The Nissan Sport Concept is first and foremost a showcase of future thinking, yet it is also a car that would be right at home in Nissan showrooms in the not-too-distant future,” Collins added.

The three-door hatchback with its dramatic styling already appears to have gone under the tuner’s knife even before it’s had a run through a factory! Bold roof spoiler, a deep front spoiler and large 20-inch wheels and tyres lend the car its aggressive stance. Looking decidedly European with its almond-shaped light clusters, the body is constructed of a lightweight metal and carbon-fibre composite.

The interior is designed to seat four, though the emphasis has been placed on the comfort of the front passengers. Front bucket seats and the independent rear seats are covered in grey leather with pearl suede inserts and come with four-point seatbelts. Rear passengers get centre console-mounted support grips.

The instrument panel includes an integrated tachometer and gauges, while the emergency brake lever has been moulded into the centre console’s lid. It has a sporty three-spoke steering wheel.

“The Nissan Sport Concept is as close to performance art for the street as you can get – modern, cool, ready to run,” said Collins. “When it comes to the next wave of small car design, a shift is about to be made - and Nissan is making it.”

Original article from Car