Nissan viewed the Detroit Motor Show as being so important it didn’t even bother holding any press conferences this year. Instead, it let its products do the talking even if the firm’s two latest models have already had a substantial airing.
In pole position for sportscar fans was the GT-R. But we’ve already driven it so the supercar was really only noteworthy for making its US debut. That left the brand’s Forum concept car, a model not dissimilar in shape and size to the Mercedes R-Class.
Meals on wheels: the car with a microwave
Although it had already released pictures of the Forum, this was the first time Nissan has shown the model in the metal - and it’s dramatic if only for its sheer size. Inside there’s a beautifully built interior in aluminium, brown leather and wood, which according to its maker, offers a ‘wide array of innovative family fun ideas’. But having individual second-row seats that swivel and slide backwards and forwards isn’t exactly revolutionary. Nor is a speaker system that operates outside the vehicle when the doors are open.
But the seven-seater isn’t totally devoid of interesting features. There’s a (mildly baffling) microwave in the centre console. And the trackless sliding side doors – they’re mounted on an obscured arm – keep the profile nice and neat while offering excellent access to the inside.
Is this the future for Nissan MPVs?
It’s unlikely. Although the Forum does have an engine, all Nissan could tell us was that it’s front mounted, drives the front wheels and has an environmentally sensitive powertrain. Hardly illuminating. One Nissan official revealed that the importance of this vehicle is its nose, which represents the look of future MPVs from the Japanese brand.
They say: The next evolution in family transport
We say: Sadly it’s a long way from being that radical
CAR rating: 2/5