A Trip Down Memory Lane: 15 Years of Nissan Design Europe

  • This year marks 15 years since the Landmark building in Central London opened
  • Nissan Design Europe birthed popular models such as the Juke and Qashqai
  • To celebrate this anniversary, Mamoru Aoki, vice president, NDE, reveals his list of NDE’s 15 most significant vehicles

Nissan Design Europe, Nissan's design hub and birthplace of some of today's most popular and innovative models, celebrates its 15th birthday at its current home. We check out 15 of their coolest projects to date.

Back in 2003, Nissan Design Europe moved to the Paddington area of central London, following an extensive renovation program which transformed a graffiti covered derelict transport depot, officially called The Rotunda, into a thriving, trendy design space.

Since then NDE have pioneered groundbreaking vehicles such as the Qashqai and the Juke, creating a crossover market and automotive landscape which every other manufacturer would be soon to follow.

A European design studio for Infiniti, Nissan’s premium brand, opened on site in 2014. Mamoru Aoki, vice president, Nissan Design Europe, commented: “NDE has made an outstanding contribution to Nissan’s global product range of today, especially with the Qashqai and Juke, which have delivered new levels of choice, versatility and innovation for consumers.”

To celebrate 15 years of NDE in its London home, Mamoru took some time to compile a list of his favourite designs from the last 15 years:

Qashqai concept 2003

“Previewed Nissan’s plans to innovate and create a new type of vehicle. It was the starting point for what is now the hugely popular European crossover segment.”

Micra c+c 2005

“The Micra was already full of character and a small car icon around the world, but this really emphasised its cuteness.”

Terranaut concept 2006

“A preview of the Nissan Pathfinder SUV, uniquely focused on adventurers, scientists and geologists who travel to extreme regions all over the globe.”

Qashqai 2007

“Nissan’s first C-segment crossover. By the end of 2007, Nissan had sold almost 100,000 in Europe. The model enhancement in 2010 was also very successful.”

NV200 concept 2007

“An innovative mix of mobile office and utility vehicle in one unique package. The active, intelligent person’s dream vehicle, based on the NV200 van.”

Qazana concept 2009

“Following the Qashqai’s success, this previewed Nissan’s plan for a smaller crossover. The concept and the styling were bold and unique.”

Juke 2010

“Nissan’s first B-segment crossover for consumers. An icon of Nissan design, it was further proof of the high potential of what could be created at NDE.”

Qashqai 2013

“The second generation of Qashqai. It was a big step forward in almost every way, while keeping the practicality and on-road performance – the ‘Qashqai-ness' – of the original.”

Nissan Concept 2020 - 2014

“A masterpiece of automotive design, created to showcase the future Nissan design direction that we call ‘Emotional Geometry’.”

Infiniti Emerg-E concept 2014

“The ultimate expression of Infiniti, Nissan’s premium brand, which blends inspired performance and future design direction with zero emissions.”

Gripz concept 2015

“A study of a near-future B-segment crossover blended with sports car characteristics. It also shows future Nissan design direction, and is consistent with the vision of the Concept 2020.”

Infiniti QX30 concept 2015

“Infiniti's design vision for a new premium compact crossover, targeting a new generation of individualistic premium customer. It led to the QX30 production vehicle.”

Blade Glider prototype 2016

“A futuristic, high performance EV in a revolutionary sports car design. A running prototype, it has been hugely popular wherever it has been seen all around the world.”

Navara EnGuard concept 2016

“Shows a potential aftermarket customisation direction for Navara, with innovative use of Nissan EV batteries to create portable power units for businesses which work remotely.”

Infiniti Q60 Project Black S 2017

“Explores the potential for a new Infiniti high-performance model line. A radical reinterpretation of the Q60 coupe, hinting at a performance hybrid powertrain and inspired by Formula One energy recovery systems.”