Nissan Sway concept: has the Micra bubble burst?

Published: 24 February 2015

► Small hatchback concept to be shown at Geneva 2015
► Takes styling influences from the Juke, Qashqai
► Previews next-gen small Nissans - next Micra starts here?

This shadowy image is our first look at the Nissan Sway concept, a small hatchback design study headed for the 2015 Geneva motor show.

Details so far are as shadowy as the picture, but Nissan says the concept previews styling ideas for a next-generation small model, taking the spiky cues from the Juke as its design inspiration. Could this be our first look at a new, less blobby (and hopefully less disappointing) Nissan Micra

What does the picture tell us about the Nissan Sway concept?

Although Nissan says the Sway has been influenced by the Qashqai and Juke, this isn’t a crossover. It’s a conventional small hatch, but with styling cues cribbed from its bigger, tougher brothers.

The grille design is very similar to the shield-shaped middle section of the current Qashqai and new Pulsar models, but enlarged to a supersized degree not seen before. It’s flanked by aggressively slanted daytime running lights framing slim LED headlights, above what appears to be some sizable air intakes at the lower corners of the front bumper. With punched-out wheelarches, accentuated by what looks like a curved colour break along the sills, this is an altogether sportier looking kind of small Nissan.

Unlike on some concept cars, the roofline doesn’t look unfeasibly low, and even though the pencil-thin door mirrors (or, more likely, cameras) and ultra-wide wheels are typical show car fare this doesn’t look like a complete flight of fancy.

Could this really be the next Nissan Micra?

Reading between the lines, quite possibly. Nissan has been on an update spree across much of its range over the past year or two, with the likes of the GT-R, 370Z, Note, Leaf and Juke all being refreshed and it’s also launched new cars, like the second-generation Qashqai and Pulsar. That leaves the Micra as one of the oldest models in its range by some margin, and ripe for replacement – especially given the underwhelming reception the current model has received.

We’ll have to wait and see just how much of the Sway’s appearance is destined for production but although the wilder elements of its design are likely to be watered down significantly, Nissan does assert that certain elements of its styling are likely to make it to the company’s next wave of production cars

Nissan’s statement in full is below:

“Innovative design and product planning gave birth to Nissan Qashqai and Juke, two of the biggest automotive success stories of recent years. What would happen if the company applied the same radical thinking and quality standards to one of the most important sectors in Europe: the small hatchback?
 
To be unveiled at the 2015 Geneva motor show, the Nissan Sway Concept is a glimpse at how a future generation of small Nissan models could look if the company’s striking new design language was applied to a European hatchback. The car will be revealed on 3 March at 11.30am.”

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, automotive design graduate, Radical champ

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