Nissan Kicks New Look Inspired by Sneakers and Football

May 4th, 2024 by

Photo credit: Nissan

Most athletic shoes include a gripping crosshatch pattern in the rubber of the soles. If you look closely, the front bumper and rocker panels of the 2025 Nissan Kicks have a similar geometric design. It’s one of the many cues across the car that are reminiscent of sneakers, and it shows how Nissan’s designers looked beyond the auto industry to create a novel, striking aesthetic.

“When we first set out to design the new Nissan Kicks, the overarching message we wanted to convey was that of agility and toughness at the same time,” said Ken Lee, Nissan senior designer.

The design concept for the Kicks was chosen through a competition held across Nissan’s design studios globally, much like with any other production vehicle. Although the first three drawings on the shortlist were highly liked, Lee pushed the teams to think bigger. The team actually went back to the drawing board to optimize character, asking designers from around the organization for new concepts. Marcus Quach, a senior design manager at Nissan Design America in San Diego made the final exterior design.

“That was actually very tough to do because we have quite a strict process with Engineering to hit timing milestones,” Lee said. “But Engineering understood that we wanted to bring about something new, and when we showed them these new ideas, including the [final design], everyone was in love and wanted to do it.”

According to Quach, the designers also intended for drivers to feel instantly protected as soon as they got close to the car. The team set out to search for  linebackers. The daytime running lights were modeled after the black eyes of football players. Although Kicks’ exterior is brash and rugged, the interior design team purposefully chose a different direction. Drivers will discover a roomy, comfortable cabin with lots of soft-touch materials.

“Our inspiration board had an American football player with a round helmet resting on top of strong shoulder pads,” said Quach. “You can see that in the front view of Kicks, which features big, strong fenders with the rounder cabin resting on top.”

Premium, cozy materials were chosen by the designers without sacrificing Kicks’ distinct aesthetic. Plenty of technology is available with the new Kicks, including two 12.3-inch screens on the Kicks SR and ProPILOT Assist2. It required time, patience, and unwavering cooperation from people all across the world to achieve the end product is a little crossover that shines out in its class and beyond.

“For example, on the instrument panel, what looks like a carbon fiber finisher is actually a soft-touch material that is padded and comfortable to the touch,” Lee said. “The customer is going to spend hours in the vehicle. We want them to be comfortable, first and foremost. We poured our passion into the all-new Kicks,” Lee said. “We can’t wait for you to see it.”

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