Nissan Hurricane Li-ION Concept

Concept Cars 31 Jan 2008
Nissan Hurricane Li-ION Concept

The Hurricane Li-Ion is a concept by Paolo Martin. The car is based on the electric powertrain of the Nissan Mixim Concept and features an extremely low body design, an original 4-seat layout and an innovative multifunctional headlight unit.

The Hurricane Li-Ion Concept combines the advanced electric technology developed by Nissan and showcased on the recent Mixim Concept, with many original solutions, as well as a patented lighting system.

Nissan Hurricane Li-Ion Concept - Design Sketch Nissan Hurricane Li-Ion Concept - 2D rendering

Nissan Hurricane Li-Ion Concept - 3D renderingPaolo Martin had been contacted by Nissan in 1986, when he was commissioned by the Japanese carmaker to design a B-segment compact car targeted to international markets (read more on Virtual Car).

Starting from the Nissan Mixim compact urban vehicle, Paolo Martin decided to develop a very different car: a premium sportscar with a wheelbase of 2,800 mm and a total height of just 1,200 mm.

This choice was aimed at making the advanced solutions and technologies introduced by Nissan more desirable for the general public, as well as presenting some innovative solutions such as the advanced multifunctional headlight unit.

The extremely low stance reduces the vehicle cross-section area, thus contributing to achieve a very low drag coefficient, with the goal of improving both the performances and the autonomy of the vehicle.

Nissan Hurricane Li-Ion Concept - LayoutThe exterior design is strongly defined by the long wheelbase, the reduced height and the powerful and racing-like stance is enhanced by the huge wheels (19 inches at the front and 20 inches at the rear).

The cabin features an original four-seat layout (1+1+2) – similar to that of the original Mixim Concept – and can be accessed through a single front-hinged door and two rear gull-wing doors.

The front row has a single central driver-seat which – according to Paolo Martin – is the best solution with regards to the driving experience, safety, ergonomy, dynamic variations and reactions of the car.

The rear seats are positioned in two rows, with the central passenger seating in front of the other two.

The interior space is modular and the seats can be easily repositioned.

The car main structure is a single safety cell which integrates the seat frames and is directly connected with the propulsion systems.

Nissan Hurricane Li-Ion Concept - Design Sketch Nissan Hurricane Li-Ion Concept - Design Sketch

Speaking about his project, Paolo Martin concludes: “The more and more advanced research and progress in the transportation field will bring to surprising innovations in a not so far future.”

Among the innovative solutions is an innovative patented single multi-functional headlight assembly.

The multifunctional headlight unit

Single multi-functional headlight unit by Paolo MartinThis multi-functional headlight assembly was designed by Paolo Martin to reduce costs – it can be mounted both at the front and at the rear – and make cable connections easier.

It consists of a single headlight unit and a light beam reduction system made of dichroic parabolas which operate both transversally and longitudinally.

The unit integrates both the low and high beam functions which can be automatically switched between by adjusting the light beam angle and direction.

Another system measures the curve radius and vehicle speed, and adjusts the direction of the front units accordingly, providing an adaptive lighting system which improves visibility.

The unit is the same for both the front headlights and the rear tail lights. When mounted at the front, it incorporates an anti-fog radar, a system that detects irregularities of the road surface, two side cameras, parking sensors, alarm.

Single multi-functional headlight unit by Paolo Martin Single multi-functional headlight unit by Paolo Martin Single multi-functional headlight unit by Paolo Martin

When mounted at the rear, it includes reversing light, polarized anti-fog light, anti-fog radar, parking sensors and a rear camera. Like the front module, even the rear unit is adjustable in direction.

Additional auxiliary systems such as indicator lights can be controlled through a wireless connection.

About Paolo Martin

Ferrari 512 Modulo design sketch by Paolo Martin The Ferrari Modulo show car, designed by Paolo Martin in 1970

Paolo Martin was born in Turin, Italy, on 7th May 1943. His first professional experience was at Studio Tecnico Michelotti (1960).

He then worked for some of the most important Turinese designers: Bertone (July 1967), Pininfarina (July 1968) and De Tomaso Group (January 1972), where he was Ghia‘s Style Center Director (1973-1976).

Since 1976 he’s been working as a freelance designer, running a Studio which offers design consultancy and styling models construction services.

His current customers include Fiat, Nissan, BMW, Subaru, Piaggio, Gilera, Ferretti Kraft, Cigarette, Magum Marine, Dassault Aviation and others.

For more information visit

(Image courtesy: Paolo Martin – Italian version available on Virtual Car )

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