The Friend-ME is a collaboration between design teams from Nissan Design China (NDC) in Beijing and Nissan Global Design Centre (NGDC) under the leadership of Shiro Nakamura, Nissan's senior vice president and chief creative officer. The Japanese manufacturer says the concept is based on the underpinnings of an existing Nissan saloon, so it requires a minimum of unique components.
Short overhangs and a low, wide stance give the Friend-ME a sporty, aggressive look. Nissan envisions that its PureDrive hybrid powertrain would be installed in Friend-ME and that the low-emissions vehicle would mainly be used as urban transport.
According to Nissan, the Friend-ME's bespoke centre console design facilitates "four seats, one mind connectivity". All four seats are separate, to emphasise the fact that all the car's occupants are seen as equals.
The car has a centre console that stretches from the dash to the space between the rear seats. Each occupant can access a screen showing information about the car, such as current speed or navigation.
The Nissan Friend-ME is expected to be the first in a series of concepts showcasing the needs of prospective Chinese car buyers.
There has been a significant rise in young drivers owning cars in China. The word 'Balinghou' is used to describe the 240 million Chinese born in the 1980s, and it is this predominantly middle-class market that the Friend-ME is targeted at.