Former Nissan Designer Writes AIM Concept Hilarious Because New EV Looks Aggressive

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If you think the AIM EV Sport 01 concept looks a little friendly compared to other electric vehicles, that’s not wrong. In an interview, former Nissan designer Shiro Nakamura, who designed the model, said he found the styling of modern EVs “aggressive”.

Nakamura – who guides the design of the R35 GT-R, Cube, Juke, 350Z and other iconic Nissan models – recently told Upper Equipment that “Cars can be charming too.” The concept made headlines earlier this month when Nakamura said he “wanted to express dynamism with sophisticated elegance through a simple, clean design.”

One automaker that seems to agree with him is Audi. Earlier this year, the company’s design boss, Marc Lichte, said the brand’s future EV would be “softer, friendlier, less aggressive.” This announcement comes just weeks after he noted in an interview that the company will be changing the design process for its new electric model, starting with the user interface and vehicle interior before moving on to exterior design.

The era of electric vehicles is forcing automakers to rethink how they design. A flat floor housing the battery and electric motors at one or both ends of the body increases cab space when no transmission tunnels or other intrusive accommodations are required for large ICE components. Nakamura told the publication that front and mid-engined vehicles should highlight where the engine is, which is not the case for EVs, giving him latitude in styling the AIM EV Sport 01 concept.

However, automakers still need to focus on improving aerodynamics and optimizing battery range. Yes, powertrain technology gives designers more freedom in styling vehicles. However, inadequate charging infrastructure and technological limitations still create angst among customers that automakers should take into account.

In 2021, Porsche’s design chief says it will be easier to develop an electric 911 from scratch due to the battery and electric motor, which will be attractive for production as the company has a target of 80 percent more of sales of battery-powered EVs by 2030. The automaker has touted that its new flagship EV will have a “new interior experience”, which many automakers seem to be focusing on.

In January, Peugeot introduced the all-electric Inception Concept which pushes the boundaries of design and technology with a revamped cabin. The automaker hopes to bring many of its concept innovations to production by 2025. Cadillac also says it is reimagining the car’s interior not just for EVs but for cars with advanced driver assistance systems that allow drivers to take their eyes off the road ahead.

Electric vehicles are a big change for the industry outside of powertrains, and it will be interesting to see what automakers come up with. They’ve been experimenting with bigger screens, moving dashboards and other technologies to further reinvent the car.