Nissan Qazana Concept at Geneva: Return of the AMC Eagle?

March 3, 2009

Nissan confirms that it will build a produce a car based on this, the Qazana concept, at its Sunderland plant in the UK starting 2010. The Qazana is a tall four-door coupe with rear-opening rear doors in the vein of Toyota's FJ Cruiser, but without that vehicle's gargantuan blind spots or heavy full-frame truck chassis. Nissan says the Qazana "has been conceived to challenge conventional wisdom about what buyers of small five-door cars should expect."

Nissan Qazana Concept

Nissan Qazana Concept

Enlarge Photo

Whoa, is this the return of the AMC Eagle? 2009 is shaping up to be the year of wacky American Motors-style design; that now-defunct company penned some of the ugliest - or most interesting, depending upon your perspective - designs back in the 1970s. From yesterday's Chevrolet Spark with its chopped Gremlin-esque hatch to this concept, a tall off-road coupe that looks both as awkward, angry, and capable as the old AMC Eagle coupe, I'm celebrating automotive design that bans bland and isn't afraid of bizarre.

Of course, concepts always tend to push the envelope and often get severely watered down by the time they make it to production. But Nissan has proven it's not afraid to take styling risks, as evidenced by the way funky Cube with its asymmetrical door arrangement and wackier-than-Scion styling both inside and out.

Hopefully this vehicle will claw its way to the U.S. market, but initial plans are only for Europe.

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