Tokyo Motor Show: Nissan Pivo 3 concept

Nissan’s PIVO 3 electric concept car is its most realistic yet. The PIVO 3 is the final in a series of small urban electric concepts that have been in development since 2005.

It’s expected to be a stepping-stone between the almost cartoon-style earlier concepts and a mass production model.

What’s new in the Nissan PIVO 3?

As expected, the concept sports some pretty mind-boggling technology.

Its Automated Valet Parking (AVP) feature totally frees the driver from the hassle of parking. It can automatically find a parking space and park, and is designed to work with anticipated developments in car park infrastructure.

Manoeuvrability is a big concern in the design too. It has a zero turn gap, allowing the back wheels to follow any turn the front wheels take.

It can also make a complete U-turn in only four metres of room, thanks to in-wheel motors and a wide steering angle.

What does it look like?

Unsurprisingly, this innovative technology is housed in a suitably space-age body.

The pod-like design is completed with bold, clean, lines and angles, in contrast to the bubble-like PIVO 2.

Nissan says that its designers are keen to explore the opportunities presented by electric vehicles. As they aren’t bound by the design limits of traditional internal combustion engines, electric cars offer much more flexibility for creating unique, flair-filled architecture.

What’s it like to drive?

With a remarkable interior design that sets the driver slightly ahead of the two passengers, we are eager to hear how this goes down with test drivers.

Meanwhile, the central driving console and steering wheel wouldn’t look out of place in a futuristic video game.

Nissan’s dream is to use sustainable energy to link the car, driver and community, although at the moment we’re waiting for further details about this to be revealed.

What are the problems?

The first dramatic issue with the design is that it doesn’t meet any crash-test requirements, due to seating 3 people in a car just 2.8 metres long.

The second is the cost of developing it into a model suitable for mass production.

As a result, Nissan are very elusive about how long it will be until we might see the PIVOs offspring in showrooms. Currently they are only letting slip that work is starting on the production model now, and is expected to take some years.

Any hints about what the production version will look like?

A priority for Nissan will be altering the dimensions of the car to meet international safety standards.

Nissan say that in the process of transferring from concept to production, the PIVO will lose its AVP and self-charging systems.

With the design of PIVO concepts becoming progressively more mainstream, it seems likely that the production car might drop some of the PIVO 3s more far-out touches.

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Andrew Kirkley
Latest posts by Andrew Kirkley (see all)
  • 2nd December 2011

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