A few weeks ago, before the roof caved in on Volkswagen, then-CEO Martin Winterkorn gave a presentation outlining the future of the brand, saying its cars would be transformed into “smartphones on wheels” by 2020. Today, Winterkorn’s plan is likely on the back burner in Wolfsburg, but he clearly wasn’t the only one seeking to make the future of the mobile phone, um, that much more mobile.
For the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan will unveil the “Teatro for Dayz” concept, designed to appeal to the “share native” generation that will be hitting the roads next decade. In 2020, the youngest drivers on the roads will have been born in 2004 – the year Facebook debuted. They were 2 when Twitter bowed, 3 when the iPhone debuted, and 6 when Instagram first appeared. This generation will depend on the Internet more than any generation that came before it and will likely demand connectivity at a level that will make our current crop of smart cars look archaic.
And with the Teatro for Dayz, Nissan is staking its claim as the first automaker to slam the door shut on that pesky 20th century. From its press release:
Until now, Nissan has focused on vehicle experiences familiar to anyone born in the 20th century: driving somewhere new; basking in luxury; exploring driving passion; brisk acceleration. With Teatro for Dayz, Nissan has designed a car just for share natives. Representing both a radical departure from the past and compelling vision of the future, this concept is a canvas from which share natives can create and share experiences. As a platform for imagination and free inspiration, Teatro for Dayz will be the first car to excite the hearts and minds of the next generation of drivers.
So if you don’t like driving somewhere new, basking in luxury, or brisk acceleration, then the Teatro for Dayz is probably for you. For everyone else that has memories of cell phones as a status symbol, Nü metal, or the Clinton administration, I guess it’s time for us to trade up for a Cadillac XTS and run out the clock in Florida.
Speaking of brisk acceleration, Nissan makes no mention of powertrain in the Teatro for Dayz. Automotive News says the car is based on its JDM Dayz kei car, and has an all electric drivetrain, though there’s no word on whether or not drivers will be able to swarm the available outlets at Starbucks to charge them on.
But the drivetrain isn’t important on the Teatro for Dayz, and Nissan expects that the majority of future buyers will agree. The concept’s focal point is its interior, a completely white, blank canvas covered in screens. The dashboard, instrument panel, steering wheel, door trim, and even seats, are covered in screens, designed to turn the car into a mobile matrix of social media. As Nissan explains, it “… grappled with the question of what kind of car would appeal to share natives. One concept is Teatro for Dayz: a platform from which share natives can play, create, communicate and share experiences.”
While this concept borders on the bizarre to us old farts, Nissan is probably on to something. As Automotive News points out, “young people’s fading interest in cars is such an alarming trend that the Japanese even have a name for it: kurumabanare, or car separation.” We can understand the desire for greater connectivity, autonomous driving, and the like, but a car solely designed to be a rolling Twitter feed is just a little to much for us. Now, if you’d like to reach us for further comment, we’ll be at the shuffleboard courts.
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