And Mat Weaver, Senior Designer at NDE, said: "Designing a concept car is very often a case of burning the midnight oil, so as the fruit of our hard work I'm honoured that the QASHQAI has been recognised and awarded by the Institute of Vehicle Engineers. This concept is the first work from our new London design studio to be seen and with this fantastic start I'm looking forward to what we can offer in the future. QASHQAI as a vehicle offers a look which is unique in its solid yet very agile appearance both inside and out."
He added, "I feel it's a car you can see yourself in, which for a concept car is not often the case, but it goes some way in proving that we are trying to bring the future closer to today."
The QASHQAI combines coupé-like styling with the stance and authority of an off-road vehicle. The concept has four-wheel drive and ground clearance closer to that of a typical off-road vehicle, yet retains the looks, feel and driveability of a sporting hatchback.
QASHQAI has a number of special features. The front doors open conventionally but the back doors are rear hinged and there is no central ‘B’ pillar. As a result, access to and from the passenger compartment is exceptionally easy.
A unique seating arrangement sees all four individual seats attached to a central backbone chassis rail. The seats can be folded upright, flush with the central rail, which leaves enough space for a bicycle to be stored easily inside the cabin without it having to be dismantled first.
A boot area behind the rear seats houses a safe for valuables and is approached via a split tailgate. Another thoughtful touch makes access to the luggage area from outside as simple as possible: the lower portion of the tailgate slides away underneath the body of the car when opened.
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