Nissan chose to celebrate 20 years of its London design studios (and 90 years of the brand itself) with perhaps one of the wildest concepts to surface from its bunker-like facility in Paddington since the nutty Nissan Juke.
Simply a design study for now - although bearing plenty of Micra hallmarks - the Concept 20-23 was conceived and created by some of the youngest members of the internal design team. They drew inspiration from the brand’s cute Pike cars, such as the Be-1, Pao, Figaro and S-Cargo, and injected them with a healthy dose of performance EV steroids.
"This is what happens when the online gaming generation is told to design without constraints," Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice president for global design, explained at the exclusive unveil event.
"It takes all of these cute and approachable elements, which are then juxtaposed by serious motorsport influence."
In the flesh, the vehicle is squat, muscular and boasts the typical Formula E-inspired highlights, such as enormous rear wing and ultra-low front and rear splitters. But the ultra-thin LEDs that make up the front and rear headlights make it look like it has a friendly face - "like a puppy", according to Albaisa.
Although said to be a great companion to the urban environment, it’s more race car than shopping trolly. This can be seen in a number of neat design touches, such as the Koenigsegg-style doors, that open upwards, as well as the LED light bars beneath said doors that reveal the current charge status of the car from the outside - a coll touch indeed.
The exterior is also festooned with cleverly sculpted channels and tunnels that funnel air from the front, through the wheel arches and via the rear splitter to increase downforce and help cool electric motors and brake discs.
Further proof that the design team was indulging in all-night Gran Turismo sessions can be found inside, where driver and passenger first have to clamber over a brace bar that runs across the door openings.
Two deep bucket seats then cosset bums, while the driver is greeted by a long extended steering column that houses a rectangular sports steering wheel covered in buttons, dials and controls.
A lack of gearbox would normally make paddle shifting obsolete, but here they control the performance of the electric system, assumably increasing or decreasing regenerative braking response. There’s also a fire extinguisher in there, because racecar.
According to its maker, the "interior is a futuristic interpretation of a racing car's bare functionality", with the minimal screens displaying only vital information without distraction to the driver, like those found on bedroom racing simulators and in Nissan’s own Formula E cars.
So, is this really what the future of an electric Micra will look like? Probably not, but Nissan has committed to its EV future, turning its back on internal combustion engines completely. That means it will need sporty models to keep punters happy, and this could be the ticket.