Nissan Ellure Concept
5th December, 2010
As a longtime industry innovator in sedan design, notably
the original Datsun 1600 and numerous generations of Nissan Maximas, Bluebirds and Skylines, Nissan has
always had an affinity for both the form and its buyers. So it should come as no surprise that in an
environment where traditional sedan buyers have been 'migrating' toward coupe and cross-over SUV
alternatives, along comes the engaging Nissan Ellure Concept, which made its world debut at the Los
Angeles Motor Show last month.
“While not intended as a preview of any upcoming production model, Ellure confirms Nissan’s
intention to be a strong player in the sedan segment for many years to come,” explains Shiro
Nakamura, senior vice president and chief creative officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (NML), who supervised
the global design effort. “As an expression of our long-term vision for the next generation of great
Nissan sedans, Ellure allows us to introduce a new sedan concept – one that honours the sedan’s
unmatched daytime functionality, yet has a more emotive, almost hidden ambience that comes to life after
dark. It’s an ideal fit for the needs of its projected owners, women in their ‘30s and ‘40s with a sense
of sophistication and rebellion.”
A Simple Yet Provocatively Modern Exterior
The Nissan Ellure exterior expresses the warmth of a sculpture, but is defined by the solid movement
of the shapes – and the control of light and dark in a way that is sophisticated yet rebellious. Its
designers sought to shift the balance between rational values and emotional ones, expressing both
intelligent, sustainable design qualities and a sense of passion and fun. The proportions of the new
Ellure respect the basic lay out and dimensions of a traditional mid-size sedan, while taking advantage
of a next-generation compact hybrid powertrain. This allows the wheels to be pushed out to the corners,
providing a stable stance and ample interior room, as well as a highly functional boot – despite the
smooth aerodynamic form.
The exterior projects a sense of strong mass, with a refined contrast between broad planes and
strong 'shoulders'. Rather than trying to hide its front-wheel drive dynamics, the body forms drape over
the front wheels and radiate outward toward the sides and rear.
The bending of the sheet metal is utterly simple but dynamic – sheer and taut like a shock wave.
The Nissan Ellure is not designed to hide its “sedan-ness,” as some so-called 4-door 'coupes' do, but
to honour the form with the way light transitions like a ribbon or wave from the bold front grille and
lights, through the sculpted shoulder lines and on to the full glass roof and strong rear end. It’s all
about using a sense of tension and release to keep the shape interesting and the viewer interested.
While not intended to project an obvious “eco” image, the Ellure design includes serious elements of
efficiency. The deeply skirted front fascia and bold solid-transparent front grille with small openings
direct the wind over and under the body. Ellure also features a full underbody pan, moulded side
rear view camera housings (utilised in place of traditional outside mirrors), small wheel openings and
full transparent covers over 21-inch 5-spoke aluminium-alloy wheels mounted with low-rolling resistance
“Aerodynamics has become a critical element of design for all vehicles today, not just hybrids or
EVs. We’ve used Ellure to explore subtle ways to reduce or eliminate body openings that can cause drag,
such as the solid yet transparent coverings on the wheels and grilles, without impacting the beauty of
the vehicle,” said Nakamura.
The Ellure grille, with its large polished Nissan badge, was inspired by “Kamishino” Samurai formal
coat. Like all of the major chrome accents on the vehicle, the grille slats combine brushed edges and
bright surfaces to add a polished, almost jewel-like surfacing. The headlights and taillights
incorporate an effect like the layering of fins or wings of a bird – condensed in some areas and spread
out in others.
A nod to traditional Japanese design can also be seen in the Ellure’s rear end, which is inspired by
a “Torii” Shinto shrine gate. The sides of the vehicle are dominated by large 90-degree opening doors
with rear-hinged rear doors for full panoramic interior access and easy ingress/egress.
Ellure’s full tinted glass roof with integrated interior nighttime accent lighting caps the “duality”
of design – transitioning from sophisticated in daylight and a somewhat wilder expression of light and
movement at night.
The final accent to the Ellure exterior is the paint treatment. The “Geode” White tri-coat mica paint
features pearlescent/gold flake with a blue aspect that varies in appearance by tone and temperature of
A “Molten” Interior That Turns Up the Heat
Inside, Ellure’s fluid movement of shapes, and control of light and dark, continues with its highly
emotive environment. It is one space with two feelings – tailored by day, intimate and inviting by night.
The high-contrast, energised warmth of the space imparts an almost molten, thermal energy, which is also
captured in the tri-colour scheme of “Molten Ice,” “Molten Steel” and “Molten Grey.”
Picking up the “shock wave” theme of the Ellure exterior, the dramatic instrument panel design flows
from door-to-door, seamlessly integrating with the door panels and blending into the lounge-like rear
seat to wrap the driver and passengers in an elegant and passionate space. With clean, intuitive touch
interfaces, the wide display panel screens present information in a two-level layout, with information
arranged by priority of use. The chrome-free leather (eco tanning process) on instrument panel offers
a colour gradation and use of heat repellent pigment to help reduced glare. The special truncated shape
of the steering wheel provides a clearer view of the instrument panel and display screens.
The front seats are covered with a black eco-suede utilising recycled fibres (100% post industrial
PET ultra microfibre). The seat design itself uses transparent red acrylic seatback panels and low
shoulder height to reduce the usual “wall” between front and rear passengers. The front passenger seat
design includes a forward-facing ottoman, and both front seats include elegant “floating head
The “showpiece” of the interior is the “floating” centre console with a sculptural, see-through
effect, white leather covering and backlit red nighttime lighting. A console-mounted central controller
provides intuitive control for HVAC, audio, navigation and other functions. The all-glass ceiling is
embedded with special red 'mood' lighting.
The three-person rear seat, covered in grey ultra-suede, provides the roominess of sedan but the
feeling of coupe. The “shock wave” carpeting design, with rings of colour radiating from centre out,
follows the topography of the interior. The carpeting itself is made from handmade strips of 100% wool
felt, which is naturally water repellent.
Other interior features include hidden audio system speakers embedded in doors and head restraints,
interior “alcove” style, recessed lighting design and armrest touch controls with haptic feedback.
“We’ve provided a private and passionate inside space that the owner can feel is completely her
own. Not a hangout space in itself, we see the Ellure interior as mobile social space hosted by the
driver,” adds Nakamura.
A Proposed Eco Drivetrain
Along with displaying Nissan’s future sedan design language, the new Ellure presents a conceptual
preview of how future Nissan sedans can balance the conflicting desires for fun-to-drive performance,
ample passenger/luggage utility and sustainable mobility.
The Ellure drivetrain is conceived as a supercharged 2.5-litre inline 4-cylinder with Intelligent
Dual Clutch Control (one motor/two clutch design with lithium-ion battery) and 25 kW electric motor,
matched with an Xtronic CVT™ and front-wheel drive. It would also include an independent suspension,
regenerative braking, and advanced drive-by-wire electric/hydraulic steering to make sure the driving
experience is as dynamic and rewarding as Ellure’s physical properties.
Ellure also wears a “PURE DRIVE” badge, indicating it would be part of Nissan’s range of low
CO2/low fuel consumption internal combustion engine or hybrid vehicles.
PURE DRIVE vehicles use Nissan’s most advanced technologies to deliver to customers an optimal
balance of top-level fuel consumption and value. Nissan seeks to provide the right solution tailored
to market circumstances and customer needs.
The Sedan Re-imagined
With lines that gain energy as they move through the exterior, an interior that is as engaging as
it is inviting, and effortless technology embedded with intuitive intelligence, Ellure stands as
Nissan’s latest expression of innovation for design.
“When all is said and done, the sedan will always be core to the Nissan product portfolio. Our
goal is to rejuvenate the sedan’s attractiveness to buyers who might have migrated to other segments,
or who are coming reluctantly into the category,” adds Nakamura. “By respecting its strengths,
while recognising that emotion is as critical as function, Ellure could well be the wave, or more
correctly the ‘shock wave,’ of future sedans.”