At just a little more than 4m in length, but sitting on a wheelbase of 2600mm – just 25mm shorter than the much larger X-TRAIL - Tone’s overall dimensions allow it to cross boundaries.
By keeping Tone’s overall height to 1542mm, the design team has ensured the proportions help to keep the centre of gravity low, without compromising the car’s practicality. And a low centre of gravity is key to the Tone’s ‘fun to drive’ philosophy.
According to project chief designer Taiji Toyota, Tone is: "…tall, but not so tall. We wanted a roomy interior and the benefits of a high driving position but we did not want to make the car look top heavy. With the long wheelbase and body we feel we have achieved a shape that will appeal on both a practical and emotional level."
Tone has been given a deliberately ‘masculine’ feel with extensive use of brushed aluminium for interior fittings and a sophisticated dark grey exterior body colour. Inside, a hint of purple shows through the perforated ‘metallic’ black and silver leather upholstery while light grey headlining contrasts with the predominantly black trim.
Dramatically shaped sports seats are designed to keep the driver and front seat passenger firmly in place during cornering, enhancing the sporting concept and fun to drive philosophy which is at the heart of Tone.
Twin glass strips run the length of the roof - another feature seen on many recent Nissan show cars - and bathe the interior with natural light.
Accentuating its ‘driver appeal’, Tone has a dramatic and futuristic dashboard. Two deep set dials can be found behind the sporting three spoke steering wheel, but the centre of the dashboard is dominated by a brushed aluminium display panel housing a satellite navigation screen and controls for the climate control system.
Although designed as a car for the enthusiast, Tone’s designers have not forgotten the practical needs of a parent. The glove box features a neat slot that doubles as a tissue dispenser - ideal for keeping sticky fingers off the upholstery - while the brushed aluminium centre console-cum-armrest houses a deep storage area beneath its lid.
The backrest folds in an uncomplicated fashion to create a roomy and flat load area. Extra storage space can be found beneath the boot floor, which lifts to reveal a deep well, with a storage capacity of 90 litres, where valuables can be stowed out of sight.
Taiji Toyota, whose previous designs include X-TRAIL, Murano and the Chappo concept which led directly to the innovative Nissan Cube, says: "Tone is a dynamic, sophisticated car with strong emotional appeal that also answers a parent’s practical needs."Published 1 October 2004