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Nissan’s Sway is a Micra from the future

Okay, hands up, who upset the Micra? So long a bastion of the bug-eyed, cutesy coochie-coo, Nissan’s supermini has got itself all angry and arch-backed. We like it.

Granted, this isn’t actually the new Micra. This is Nissan’s ‘Sway’ concept car, unveiled today at the 2015 Geneva motor show.

But given the official party line from Nissan is ‘this is how a future generation of compact Nissan models might look if the company’s striking new design language was applied to a European hatchback’, you catch our drift. Out with the Micra’s retro bubble look, in with sharp edges and a frowning face.

The ‘V-motion’ grille you’ll recognise from the current X-Trail 4x4 and Pulsar hatchback, but the way the curves are exaggerated across the wings and bounce down the flanks is pretty darn radical for a Micr… sorry, ‘Sway’.

Nissan says the origami look is designed to appeal to European customers - and it’ll have to, if Nissan is to regain lost ground in the supermini battlefield from Ford’s Fiesta, not to mention posher stuff like the Citroen DS3 and ubiquitous Mini.

Speaking of which, note the Sway’s contrast-colour roofline and floating C-pillar. Very on-trend. It’s a solid bet that the next-gen Micra will offer a modicum of customer personalisation, in an effort to shift its geriatric image. Don’t bet on suicide rear-engined back doors making showrooms though, and as for that interior…

Yes, Nissan’s gone to town with colours and minimalism inside the Sway. But imagine that fundamental design in more sombre tones, and the simple instrument clocks, central touchscreen interface and chunky climate control dials shouldn’t be too far removed from reality. Again, not a moment too soon, given how dowdy the current Micra looks from behind the wheel.

You might feel compelled to mock Nissan for going so OTT with a supermini design study, but remember, these are the guys that signed off the praying mantis-like Juke for production - a sales goldmine in the UK - and propelled the crossover to mass-market appeal (and countless copycat responses) with the Qashqai…

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