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IDx Freeflow
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  Nissan IDx Freeflow
 

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Country of origin:Japan
Produced in:2013
Introduced at:2013 Tokyo Motor Show
Source:Company press release
Last updated:November 20, 2013
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Click here to download printer friendly versionNissan unveiled a pair of concept cars with radically different characteristics, created by a new approach to product development, that together offer a new take on authenticity.

The IDx concepts on the Nissan stand at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show are case studies. The first is a casual/lifestyle-focused vision, the IDx Freeflow. The second is IDx NISMO, an ultra-sporty model of the future that looks as if it came directly from a driving simulator.

IDx NISMO and IDx Freeflow show how Nissan is using new and innovative product development methods to meet the needs of younger customers who have novel, exciting ideas, and engage with them to build the cars they want.

The co-creation product development approach requires input from consumers. It was designed to appeal to "digital natives," the generation born after 1990, and integrates their feedback into the creation process. Nissan thinks this approach could have real applications in the near future.

This co-creation activity led to the development of the two IDx concepts cars, each with their own unique identity, yet aligning with the values and preferences and desire for authenticity, of the mainly digital native collaborative community that helped create them.

Co-creation defines a new relationship between Nissan and its customers. The prefix Nissan gave to the two new concepts, "IDx," reflects those ideals. "ID" is the acronym taken from "identification", relating to the things all individuals relate to on a personal level in a car, and the "x," which is the variable representing the new values and dreams born through communication.

Engaging with members of the digital native generation created an opportunity to learn a slew of new insights and creative possibilities. The co-creation dialogue reached far and wide, from the basic framework of cars to the last details and finishing touches. The final versions of the two concept cars were born from the engagement with separate co-creation communities. Each one has its own strong character and leaves a vastly different impression.

The design of the two IDx concepts incorporates digital natives' direct expression of the ideal form of ultimate simplicity in a compact sedan. It was as if they were given a clean, white canvas to freely conceptualise anything that was intriguing.

What Nissan derived from this communication was their desire for a basic, authentic configuration for a car. A car without legacy influences, based on the ideal proportions and straight stance of a simple three-box shaped car design. Thus, the IDx concepts share the same three-box genesis, i.e. vehicles made up of three compartments - engine, passenger and cargo areas.

Nissan designers infused the idea of an "authentic car configuration" into their thinking behind this starting point in the form of a "flexible box."

Several unique approaches were made from a structural standpoint so the IDx concepts could take on various appearances. For example, the front/rear bumpers and side structure, such as the door panels, seem to sandwich the cabin to focus attention on the centre of the vehicle.

This structure allows the car to differentiate itself from others through the side and front face, with vast freedom for customisation. The parting lines (panel partitions) clearly separate the sides and top, and enhance visual clarity while creating a unique and crisp boxed form. Additionally, viewed from the front and rear, the car retains its compact lines while maintaining low and wide body proportions, thereby instilling a sense of it being a "real" car.

Both the interior and exterior share the aim of a simple design, with just the right amount of functions and accessories that are standard on cars to provide a solid sense of build reliability.

In order to have enough flexibility consistent with the creativity inherent to the IDx approach, some areas of the interior incorporate a dual-layered "tight-fit skin." For example, the dashboard is simple yet refined, created by employing cast moulding in parts in the body structure and on the ventilation ducts. By combining this with sparingly-used, close-fitting trim, the dashboard can be a foundation for various expressions and functions. Similarly, the gauges, centre consoles, and floor consoles were crafted to enable any necessary parts to be installed in an easy and seamless way.

The IDx concepts' interiors are ultimately the expression of digital natives' values in a flexible form that is malleable enough to project an exquisite structure while rendering a unique space inside.

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