"Why," I wondered out loud to Nissan and Infiniti designer Shiro Nakamura, "aren't cars elegant anymore? Why do designers revel in complexity?"

"Complexity?" he asked, grabbing my pencil and pad from my hands. "For some people, maybe, but not us.

"The key element is the face of the car. Can you draw a face that is recognisable on every model in three or four lines?

"If so, that is simple, successful design. You can add more - but if you look at those few lines and know what car it is, then the design is working."

Thirty seconds later he'd drawn the two faces of his brands, signed my notepad and proved me very wrong.