Nissan says it will aim to bring "fresh ideas" to the compact segment with the next Micra, which is due to go on sale in 2016 and was previewed by the Sway concept at the Geneva motor show.
The 4010mm long, 1780mm wide and 1385mm high Sway concept features Nissan’s new design language, first introduced on the new Murano, albeit in a more conceptual style. The pared-back interior is inspired by the IDX concept of 2013. The Sway was designed at Nissan's Atsugi design centre in Japan.
Those measurements pitch the Sway much closer to the 4100mm-long Nissan Note mini-MPV than the current Micra (which is 3825mm in length), signifying the expected growth of both models.
Short overhangs allow the Sway a wheelbase that's generous for the car's length; it boasts 2570mm between the axles, while the Volkswagen Polo offers 2470mm, even though the Polo is only 38mm shorter overall.
Design chief Shiro Nakamura said: “We are experimenting to see how Nissan might be able to bring fresh ideas to the compact segment.”
"The Sway is not a pure design study; it gives a hint of a next-generation hatchback.
"The Sway is like a smaller Murano," Nakamura added. "The V-Motion grille, strong character lines and the floating roof: every element we used in the Murano is there."
Nakamura said the Sway's bold styling is intentional, as the brand hopes to make a similar impact in Europe as it did with the Juke and Qashqai. "Nissan wants to be expressive and bold," he said. "We made a big statement with Qashqai and Juke, and those cars are very successful in Europe. We want to continue that philosophy.