Car News:  2011 Tokyo Auto Show

Tokyo Preview: Nissan Pivo 3 Concept

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer November 2011

Nissan recently unveiled a new concept car ahead of its debut at the concept-heavy Tokyo Auto Show. Dubbed the Pivo 3, the futuristic Nissan includes quirky exterior styling, a highly stylized minimalist interior and several advanced new technologies that may reach production on the automaker's future models.

Among the Pivo 3's most striking features is its unique exterior styling. Although the concept car includes several traditional Nissan design elements like the automaker's trapezoidal grille and blue-accented trim borrowed from the Leaf, its overall design - including its diminutive size - would make it a novelty on the road. The two-door Pivo 3's most distinctive feature is large front wheel arches that stick out beyond its grille, though other unique elements include diagonal character lines on its doors, an abrupt curve where its windshield meets its roof and tiny front and rear overhangs.

Inside, the Pivo 3 is even more unusual. Flanked by two passengers, the driver sits in the center of the hatchback's cockpit and consults a fully digital gauge cluster for basic vehicle information, a speedometer and a navigation system. The Pivo 3's steering wheel forms a U shape without a complete top half, while a series of stylized lines on the hatchback's seats, doors and carpet give its interior character. Additionally, the concept replaces traditional rearview mirrors with door-mounted exterior cameras that project images to display screens on either side of its dashboard.

But the Pivo 3's futuristic features don't end there. According to Nissan, the hatchback uses an all-electric powertrain with in-wheel motors that can pivot all four wheels, resulting in an incredibly tight seven-foot turning radius. While that should make the concept extremely easy to squeeze into tight parking spots, Nissan says it's not necessary since the Pivo 3 features a new system capable of parking itself. Dubbed Automated Valet Parking, the system autonomously drives the Pivo 3 through parking lots and garages to search for a spot, ultimately steering the concept into a space when a suitable one is found. According to Nissan, the system can even look for places to recharge the concept car.

We'll have more information on the Pivo 3 and other exciting new debuts at this year's Tokyo Auto Show in the coming days.

See more Tokyo Auto Show news.

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Tokyo Preview: Nissan Pivo 3 Concept - Autotrader