PIVO


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Nissan Pivo 2 concept

By far the most provocative and advanced of the four concepts shown here by Nissan, the Pivo 2 is a more globular version of the Pivo shown here two years ago. In design terms, the biggest difference is how the rounded form language from Pivo 1 is now extended to the end views, while the three-seater cabin is developed to include a number of new technical features to enhance its appeal to the ‘girl about town’ customer that Nissan is targeting.

First impressions are that the chassis ‘pillow base’ of the Pivo 2 has been visually reduced so that the 10-inch wheels sit as separate globules outside the main rotating cabin and each can now rotate 90 degrees. In sideways ‘crab parking’ mode the four wheels and grey inner wheelarches turn together inside their blue outer wheel spheres, however, this further emphasizes the essentially excessive use of road space of the novel chassis layout. There are also semantic issues with this design: the connecting joints of the tiny wheels to the cabin leave narrow gaps in the overall silhouette of the car and the hinges themselves appear thin and visually weak, whereas one might expect to see a strong section at these critical points. On the positive side, the whole vehicle shifts with an exciting animal-like movement, tilting and heaving around as the various wheel and cabin arrangements are engaged in sequence.

The drive-by-wire steering and pedals allow the complete front end to open as on the old BMW Isetta bubblecars of the 1950’s. A further innovation is the incorporation of a ‘Robotic Agent’ – an animated monkey-like character that sits atop the IP and rotates to show emoticons to the outside world.

At the end of the day there are two basic parts to this showcar: the multi-directional cabin idea and the globular form language, and the two sometimes act against each other. It feels like Nissan needs a Pivo 3 version to tie the whole concept together and really make it ‘sing’.

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