Meet the star of Nissan’s Paris Motor Show stand. It’s called the Townpod, and has been designed to offer drivers plenty of options to customise the car to his or her exact needs by using proprietary and third-party sourced accessories.
Nissan's Exploratory and Advance Planning Department boss François Bancon said “Only they [buyers] know what is essential for their lives, so it is logical that they should be the ones who determine the ultimate specification of their cars. For them an off-the-shelf solution is not enough and the best-equipped people to tailor-make their cars are themselves."
The Townpod uses the same electric underpinnings as the Leaf and features a white, van-like body that Nissan describes as “stylish utility.” There are split rear doors to ease loading, and the design also incorporates a hatch above the rear load area to allow you to transport tall objects. The rear doors are hinged at the back to aid access.
On the inside, the concept features a low, flat floor for convenience and a swooping, bright yellow dashboard that keeps clutter to a minimum. There’s a small joystick for selecting forward and reverse, but most controls are operated by one of two centrally mounted touchscreens, with the speedo and battery charge level shown in the top screen, and sat-nav in the circular bottom one. The Townpod is also designed to connect wirelessly to portable MP3 players and PDAs.
Nissan’s designers have also incorporated elements called pucks around the cabin. Similar in size to a squash ball, the pucks can incorporate drink holders, mobile phone rests, handbag hooks and more.
The Townpod has been designed to be as future-proof as possible, so the pucks should accommodate future devices too, whatever they may be, while the technology features can be upgraded as equipment advances.