Nissan unveils inviting new concept car

Nissan has unveiled a stylish new concept called the Invitation. It's a B-segment car, which for those of you that aren't car dealers means its a direct rival to stuff like the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo.

Concept car detailing aside, it's surprisingly conventional in the context of Nissan's recent spate of segment-busting models.
While cars like the Juke and the Cube are unlike anything else (just like the Qashqai before it was plagiarised all over the shop provided inspiration to other car companies), the Invitation is a fairly standard five-door small hatch.

Replace the LED strip lights and the unusually shaped integrated tail pipe finishers for more production-friendly items (cheaper ones) and you're looking at a showroom-ready car here.

In a press release accompanying these pictures, Nissan has confirmed that the car will be on sale in the UK by early 2013.

To say it's conventional is not to say the Invitation is boring, however, because for one thing it boast some pretty interesting sheet metal work.

Take the curved creases running down the flanks, for example, which Nissan calls "squash lines," and the central instrument cluster (below), which appears to use a touch screen interface incorporating square icons of an Apple-esque variety. How much on Nissan calling it the iDash?

We don't know a great deal about the car aside from what you see in the pictures here, because Nissan is predictably holding back the beans until its proper debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

We do get plenty of guff about the design, however, including finding out that "the clean fluidity of the silhouette hints at its dynamic potential and showcases class-leading aerodynamics for enhanced efficiency." Natch.

It's called the Invitation because it looks sensuous, is modern, and has loads of interior space despite being small, says Nissan; it seems the car was named by an estate agent well versed in selling London studio apartments.

It will, of course, be as environmentally friendly as can be, with Nissan aiming to send out a couple of sub-100g/km versions badged 'Pure Drive'.

Sadly, no mention is made of a Ferrari-besting Invitation-R yet, though there's plenty of time for that.

Safety features include Nissan's Around View Monitor, which makes reverse parallel parking easier and is the first aid of its type in such a small car.
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