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April 22, 2019

2020 Nissan Sylphy Program Manager Talks About Design

Nissan is on a roll. After revealing the all-new Almera (Versa) sub-compact sedan in the U.S., they did the same with the Sylphy compact sedan at Auto Shanghai. One of the people responsible for this new design direction is Shinichiro Irie, a program design director based at the Nissan Global Design Center.

Ire talked more about the design philosophy behind the new Sylphy.

Q: What are the most notable features of the new Sylphy’s design?

Irie: We designed the new Sylphy to communicate the ideas of “vigor and confidence” and “lean and dynamic.” We expressed these through larger-diameter tires and a low center of gravity, along with a wide, firm stance. We also use common Nissan design language extensively.

The new grille, which can also be seen in Nissan Altima, presents a more dynamic and robust V-motion by connecting the line from the bottom of the bumper to the hood.

This vehicle also has signature boomerang-shaped lamps in the front and back, which distinguish it as a Nissan car at first glance. The familiar “floating” roof is expressed as well.

Q: What are some key characteristics of the interior design?

Irie: Customers who choose the Sylphy will want a comfortable, functional and modern interior design. We sought to realize this by combining the concepts “elaborate yet intuitive,” referring to the car’s intuitive functionality, and “lean yet comfortable,” which refers to the comfortable and efficient use of space.

Q: Doesn’t the reduction in overall height sacrifice cabin space?

Irie: The new Sylphy features an expressive, wide, low, stylish exterior design. It goes even further in terms of cabin roominess and comfort, which was already a key strength of past models. For example, knee space and head clearance are the same, or better, than in the previous Sylphy. Also, the car has a wide interior with excellent visibility for the driver and passengers. All riders are aided by the “gliding wing” instrument panel design that makes the vehicle feel more spacious, a signature interior characteristic for Nissan.

Q: Why does the air conditioner have three air outlets? Does it represent something?

Irie: This was a unique opportunity for Nissan to express sporty, premium functionality in an area that can be easily overlooked. Rather than aiming for a certain motif or image, the vent design expresses sporty, premium functionality. The three simple vents supply air separately to the left and right seats, and to the back seats. The integrated switch for the vents is an example of the “smart structure” that characterizes our interior design.

Q: What’s the significance of the Sylphy in terms of overall Nissan design?

Irie: The Sylphy is important to Nissan’s brand identity and helps define the future direction of our design. This new model continues to play these roles, as the Sylphy has done with each prior model change.

Q: Is there anything unique among the design features of this new model?

Irie: The new Sylphy has seats as soft as a sofa, providing comfort even during long drives. The diamond quilting pattern on the tan-colored seats provides a luxurious feel. This eye-catching design adds to the premium, modern atmosphere.

Q: Does the new design incorporate any Nissan Intelligent Mobility features?

Irie: The new Sylphy features advanced safety technologies that embody Nissan Intelligent Mobility. Among these, a 7-inch, high-definition thin-film transistor monitor, which conveys the operation status of various sensors as well as drive information, is arranged inside the meter assembly for a smart, highly functional design.

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