Auto Tech

Nissan's alluring Ellure concept

Nissan attempts to reinvent the sedan with its Ellure Concept at the 2010 LA Auto Show.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Nissan claims that the Ellure embraces its "sedan-ness" unlike other four-door coupes.
Nissan claims that the Ellure embraces its "sedan-ness" unlike other four-door coupes. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

We've been seeing a number of four-door coupes hitting the market, relying on their steeply sloped rooflines to create a sporty look. Nissan takes a different tack at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show with its Ellure concept, a vehicle that embraces its "sedan-ness" with a more traditional profile and a modified hybrid drive system that features components from Nissan's luxury-branded Infiniti M45h.

Starting with the striking exterior, the Ellure features an evolution of Nissan's now trademark boomerang headlamps and taillights. Severe angles and dramatic curves characterize the sedan, which draws inspiration from Japanese imagery, including the samurai's Kamishino formal coat and Torii Shinto shrine gates. Rear-hinged rear doors give passengers unfettered access to the cabin and help to minimize visual distraction by combining the door handles.

Inside the cabin, the Ellure features an expectedly conceptual design language with organic shapes, ambient lighting that changes with the driver's mood, and an expansive glass roof that creates the illusion of space. A floating center console and a color palette that features "Molten Ice," "Molten Steel," and "Molten Gray" hopes to evoke a feeling of motion, while environmentally sound materials--such as the eco-suede seat covering made of 100 percent recycled PET plastic--further the sedan's green cred.

Under the hood, the would-be Ellure is powered by a supercharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine that is mated to a 25 kW electric motor and lithium-ion battery with a system called Intelligent Dual Clutch Control. This system selects and blends output from the two systems and sends power through an Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) and to the road through the front wheels. Regenerative braking and drive-by-wire electric steering aid in the concept's efficiency.