The Brazilian Sao Paulo International Motor Show is gaining prominence as it’s a huge and growing market in South America. Budget models for the region dominate the scene, but Nissan is showing a wildly styled 2+2 crossover concept called the Extrem.

“Brazil is a country of great natural beauty and it has a passionate, rich culture. But this is not always reflected in the cars on its streets, especially the more affordable locally produced vehicles which tend to be conservative in design, colour and specification,” said Shiro Nakamura, senior VP and chief creative officer.

Designed by Nissan Design America (NDA) in San Diego, California, in collaboration with Brazilian designers and produced in Brazil, the Nissan Extrem Concept previews a new breed of car that blends versatility and toughness with the agility of a compact 2+2.

Right from the early stages of its development, the design team behind Extrem was clear about the direction the concept should take. “We call it Baby Beast,” said Robert Bauer, senior design manager for the project at NDA. “We see it as an urban rally car, a tough little street fighter that can handle the urban jungle with agility and confidence.” If the GT-R was a compact crossover…

The Extrem sits on Nissan’s V-platform as used by the Nissan March and Almera. Under the hood is a direct injection and turbocharged (DIG-T) 1.6L engine, and power can be laid down via FWD or AWD with torque vectoring.

But those details are just to fill up the blanks – Nissan says that this is “strictly a concept car with no immediate plans for production” although elements may offer a glimpse into future products. Not yet a Juke-style game changer then.

Nissan is doing well in Brazil. The company claimed almost 2% of the 2011 market, doubling its 2010 sales, and aims to account for 5% by 2016. A new factory in the state of Rio is scheduled to start production in the first half of 2014. At its full potential, the plant can do 200k units annually.

More pics after the jump.