Looking more like a soft toy than a car, the Nissan Townpod looked like a refugee from the Tokyo Motor Show showing up in Paris. The rationale behind this creation is as amusing as the looks – Nissan says that the Townpod is for a new breed of entrepreneur, one whose business and social lives are blurred. This car is as multifaceted as the young people it’s targeting, with comfort and style of a passenger car and the utility of a commercial vehicle, they say.

Easy access is provided by Rolls-Royce style rear hinged doors with no B-pillars, while access to the load area is via barn style split doors that slide out sideways instead of opening outwards like on the Mini Clubman. Another trick is the ultra slim “disappearing rear seats” that can “merge” with the front units when slid forward. A hatch-like sun roof directly above the cargo area allows the Townpod to carry taller objects.

Underneath the skin, the Townpod is similar to the Nissan Leaf electric car, which will go on sale this December in the US.

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