Nissan has unveiled the Nissan Invitation, a B-segment concept for the Geneva motor show that combines the cuteness, compactness and agility of a supermini with the generous cabin space of a baby SUV.

With the Nissan Invitation, the firm is signaling its plan to continue launching progressive crossover designs into Europe’s mainstream market sectors.

See official pictures of the Nissan Invitation

The new Nissan “previews a forthcoming mainstream model due in Europe in 2013”. Insiders say it is a more dynamic replacement for the sober but successful Micra-based Note.

When it hits production, the new Note will sell alongside the company’s funky Juke crossover and the economy-minded Micra hatchback to underscore Nissan’s commitment to the fast-expanding B-segment.

Nissan is promising an ultra-frugal version – likely to be powered by the supercharged 1.0-litre engine already used in the Micra – which will emit less than 100g/km of CO2. All versions will be eligible to wear Nissan’s Pure Drive badge, available only to the highest-efficiency models.

The Invitation concept, created in Japan, will be adapted for European production in Nissan’s design centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire. It will have “a refreshingly open cabin” and have equipment rarely seen in this sector such as an Around View Monitor system, which uses four cameras to provide a ‘helicopter view’ useful for reversing and parallel parking.

The concept also incorporates Nissan’s Safety Shield system, which interacts with the driver to keep him or her aware of what is happening around the car.

Steve Cropley

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