Nissan teases 2014 Beijing Motor Show concept

Nissan’s road to design redemption continues at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show.

The Japanese carmaker’s mainstream models have taken a turn for the boring recently, but the company has unveiled a series of striking concepts to remedy that. Now it has another planned for Beijing.

Since the most important aspect of this car is its styling, Nissan is keeping it under wraps until its scheduled April 20 debut.

However, the company did say that it will be a sedan, and that it will build on Friend-ME concept unveiled at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show, and the Sports Sedan concept unveiled at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show back in January.

The Sports Sedan was a preview of the next Maxima, but this concept will likely preview a model for the Chinese market. Both production cars should feature similar styling, though, as Nissan tries to create a unified design language that will inspire more than yawns.

That means a futuristic front-end design with the three-piece grille taken from Nissan’s production trucks, plus a “floating roof” that is visually separated from the rest of the car by notches at the base of the C-pillars.

These tropes work well on the Friend-ME and Sports Sedan concepts – not to mention the wildly popular IDx concepts from the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show – so there’s no reason to believe this latest design won’t be attractive.

Nissan is on to something here, so hopefully it will stop building stylish concepts and start building stylish production models soon.

It’s strange that the same company that builds the GT-R and Murano CrossCabriolet can make cars as unassuming as the current Sentra or Pathfinder. Yet Nissan has become very good at competently engineering mass-market vehicles, and forgetting to make them interesting.

With competitors like Ford, Hyundai, and Mazda putting an increasing emphasis on style, that strategy may not work for much longer.

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