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Nissan Teases Townpod Concept; Could It Be An Electric Van?
Actually, it's a headlamp, and it belongs to the Nissan Townpod concept, which is set to debut at this month's 2010 Paris Motor Show.

Apart from a stylish lens, projector optic, and blue-tinted light, the photo doesn't reveal much about the electric-vehicle show car. Nissan's release copy isn't much better, but it does suggest the Townpod is some sort of crossover between car and van, designed to cater to "innovative entrepreneurs."

Hmm. Sounds to us like the Townpod could be a small electric commercial van, much like the so-called e-LCV Nissan hinted at last November. A preview sketch, which suggested an EV based off the company's small NV200 van, bears some resemblance to the headlamp shown above. If so, expect the showcar to share parts or all of its EV driveline with the Leaf, as it and the NV200 ride on modified versions of Nissan's B-platform architecture.
 

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Nissan's Townpod Blurs Lines Between Compact, SUV, and Van
Is it a car? Is it a van? Is it an SUV? According to Nissan, its Townpod concept, which debuted this morning at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, is a little of everything.

Externally, designers blended a number of styling cues from the Cube and Leaf, lending the Townpod a tall, boxy stature, while simultaneously blessing it with a long, tapered nose. The small, elongated headlamps, along with the slender air intake opening, give the Townpod's front fascia an odd, alien-like appearance.

Although the Townpod is roughly the same size as the compact Leaf, Nissan worked hard to increase its versatility. Rear-hinged half-doors allow access to the rear seat, while access to the rear cargo area is provided by two wide-opening panel doors. The rear bench itself folds flat and retracts into the front seating assembly, opening up a flat, unencumbered load floor. Those needing to carry very long items -- scaffolding and surfboards alike -- will likely need to pop open a roof-mounted hatch, located just above the rear cargo doors.

Inside, the flowing dashboard takes the Jacuzzi Lounge design theme used in the Cube to a whole new level. The relatively bare dashboard has been stripped of all mechanical switchgear, leaving only a pair of LCD screens. Drivers will control ventilation, audio, and navigation systems through the lower (touch-sensitive) display, along with controls on the steering wheel. Bluetooth allows drivers to wirelessly connect to smartphones and audio devices, but Nissan's proud of what it calls The Puck -- a small, slotted rubber ball that can hold a number of accessories, including cell phone mounts, cup holders, bag hooks, and other paraphernalia.

Nissan won't say much about the electric drivetrain underneath (it's likely quite similar, if not identical, to that used in the 2011 Leaf), nor will it refer to the Townpod as anything but a conceptual design. Although this car itself may not make it to market, incorporating some of its versatile features into future vehicles may help make an electric-powered C-segment vehicle increasingly palatable to many customers.












Odd pod .
 
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