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Probably the closest you’ll ever get to a real life Optimus Prime is the Nissan NV200 concept. Aimed at small business professionals that are constantly on the move, it portrays a rugged image on the outside but keeps things safe and in place on the inside. The NV200 first appeared at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, but it was only display again at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show.

At the heart of the interior is a rolling job site featuring a patented sliding cargo pod which houses a unique pod that can smartly accommodate a variety of business needs. The pod is divided into customizable trays and boxes for efficient storage of profession-specific equipment, materials, work gear and apparel.

The end of the pod facing the inside of the van – it forms a bulkhead behind the front seats when the pod is not deployed – has hanging space for dry clothes. It also houses a small refrigerator, an extending sink unit and first aid kit. The NV200’s tanks hold enough water to supply a shower, fitted on the outside of the pod, to allow for example, diving equipment to be washed after use.

The example used, as per the pictures in this post, is that of an oceanic photographer. Power for the computer, shower, ‘fridge and other electrical fixtures comes from a small generator housed within the van. This, in turn, is charged by solar panels situated on the roof of the pod.

When the pod is deployed, the solar panels are directly exposed to daylight. But even when the pod is pushed back into the van, the panels line up beneath the skylight. In this way, power can be generated in daylight hours whether the vehicle is stationary or not.

The pod is latched inside the shell of the load area when the van is being driven. But upon arrival at its destination, it slides out rearwards to allow easy access to the storage zones. Deployed via hydraulic rams, it will sit securely on integrated ‘drop-down’ legs when fully extended.

From the outside, the Nissan NV200 doesn’t stray from the looks of a contemporary van with a usefully long 2820mm wheelbase and is 1840mm tall. All we need for it now is to transform into a kick-ass robot.


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