Nissan Chappo : 2002

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The Chappo concept is unusual because, unlike most concept cars, it isn't designed from the outside in, it is designed from the inside out. So while this asymmetrical, compact, tall-two-box city car has a uniquely innovative exterior shape, what's far more important is what Nissan's designers have achieved inside - a new approach to interior space.

nissan chappo frontside

The Chappo concept is designed in anticipation of a future generation of young, sophisticated, city-car users who want their car to be more than a means of transport. A generation for which the car has also become a social space for people to gather: their mobile space. It is a car with the space and equipment to become a 'living-room onwheels'. A place for one person to relax in calm surroundings, to meet with friends, to work, to enjoy music or videos, maybe to surf the we or to play interactive games.

The design theme of Chappo shows clear signs of Nissan's Japanese roots, but interpreted in a futuristic way. The Japanese have always been masters in using the reduced available space in the most efficient way. To them there is no such thing as a static, invariable arrangement of a room:

It is multi-functional and transformable so it can be, at all time, adapted to the particular use that is made of it.

Seat positions can be changed, tables can be moved, futons are rolled out or stowed away. Living, working, resting or sleeping: the flexibility of the Japanese room allows it all.

But it is by no means designed to shut out the outer world. On the contrary, it is made so as to communicate with the surrounding environment through ingeniously placed windows, often circular, and through wide opening doors that allow a fluent transition between inside and out. It is an accessible, inviting place where relatives and friends are welcomed and honored.

The project typifies a new energy in Nissan's creative operations. It is a concept which breaks the bounds of convention, yet retains an eye on reality. The Chappo concept is based on the idea of a house over-looking a Zen garden. It is defined by Nissan's designers as a 'room on wheels' and the garden can be anything from an urban cityscape to a beautiful bay.

This is the concept the Nissan designers had in mind when they set out designing Chappo. The name Chappo also picks up on Nissan's rich history of design as it is similar in name to one of Nissan's pike cars, the Chapeau.

This is indicative of Nissan's intention to innovate while making good use of one its core equities: its rich heritage in design.

(photos: Nissan, Automotive Intelligence)

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