Ask Teens to Design a Nissan, They’ll Design a Charger

Nissan IDx Concept

I don’t understand the teenage mind. Oh sure, I had one once, but even that one did things I don’t understand as an adult.

Understanding how teens think about cars is paramount to the future of auto manufacturers. Everything from how cars are designed to the features they’ll include to how they are sold could change with the maturation of today’s teenagers.

Here’s the kicker, though: Teens are fickle, and what they like now as young people could change 180 degrees by the time they are car-buying adults.

That’s why it’s a bad idea to let 15-year-olds design cars, because the result will look something like this.

Here’s the quick story of what you see above and below, according to Automotive News (subscription required):

One hundred teens from around the world consulted with Nissan designers on a rear-wheel-drive sports coupe. The results, unveiled last week at the Tokyo Motor Show, were the IDx Freeflow and the IDx Nismo, which bear a striking resemblance to the Datsun 510, a sports sedan produced from 1968 to 1974. That was at least two decades before any of the consultants were born.

While there’s definitely some old Datsun 510 in there, there’s even more modern Dodge Charger in that front grille, along with plenty of awkward angles in the fenders and rear that make it look like a boat. Not a cool boat, like a new SeaRay, but more like the awkward kind of boat that takes tourists on land-and-sea tours in Seattle.

Nissan IDx concept, rear

Assuming reactions are positive, Nissan could create a concept within 3 years. You know what’ll happen if it does? The 15-year-olds who helped design it will look at it and wonder what they were thinking, while adults will shake their heads and wonder what happened to car design.

This IDx is not a good idea. I agree that the input of future car buyers is important in helping decide what features new cars should include, but I don’t see the sense in getting design input from children.

Do you like the Nissan IDx concept?


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  1. Dear god. Nissan has a thing for making the ugly very successful, so I would expect this to make it to production.

  2. This’ll be an interesting one… If Nissan builds it, I’ll be excited for an FR-S comparison test!

  3. Will it win any awards for design aesthetics or creativity? No. Nonetheless, it’s still about 10 times better looking than 90% of the cars Nissan has produced in at least a decade.

  4. I like the design, its simple and clean. I don’t think the charger resemblance is quite as strong as you wrote it up to be. Instead I think it resembles more of an old Peugeot. I would like to drive it. (24 years old)

  5. Since almost no teens can afford to buy a car, let alone a rear drive sports sedan (which Nissan would have a price pushing $30K)it’s probably a moot point. Besides, what passes for “creativity” nowadays is simply cutting and pasting elements from other peoples’ work. I’ve got to admit that I wouldn’t have picked those elements to combine. An epic exercise in ugliness and a true waste of money. However, given some of the extremely ugly designs Nissan has given us lately, it wouldn’t surprise me if they build it.

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