08 January 2007

Detroit show: Nissan Bevel

New minivan is a mobile garage workshop

Nissan Bevel

Top Gear's coveted 'Oddest Concept in Show Award' goes this year to the Nissan Bevel.

If the name wasn't enough to secure the title, consider its mission statement: to cater to 45- to 60-year-old male empty nesters. Yes, that's right: it's B&Q... in car form.

Essentially a minivan with doors that hinge every which way but forward, the Bevel is supposed to represent an extension of Mr Midlife Crisis' garage workshop. Which presumably means it'll be used frantically for two weeks before being locked away to gather sawdust for the rest of eternity.

The Bevel boasts a hinging rear hatch, pop-up hooks and even a power-tool recharging outlet. And a removable pet carrying cage. Hmmm... pets and power tools. Sounds like fun.

Nissan also chose Detroit to unveil the Rogue, the US incarnation of the Qashqai.

Apart from a fractionally more decipherable name, the Rogue also gets reworked body panels and the chance to prove to Americans that SUVs don't have to be bigger than houses. Good luck there.

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