Exterior design and color are among the top factors influencing new car buyers’ decisions. That’s certainly the case for the New Nissan Almera whose dynamic design and the interesting Gray Sky Pearl color, which evolves from light gray to bluish and purplish gray at different times of the day, really excite viewers and play a substantial role in their decision to buy.  Hiren Patel, the Senior Design Manager at Nissan Design America, is behind this success.


“I love cars and was always drawing them when I was young. I could tell the make and model of every car on the road. I would memorize the car and draw it. It’s always been a passion of mine. Car design comes naturally to me. There’s nothing else I  want to do except design cars,” he said.

That boy with an eye for detail and a passion for cars Patelgrew up to become a remarkable auto designer.

Patel explained that his inspiration for the New Nissan Almera was creating a balance between a premium and sporty look. This perfect balance is achieved through the next-generation V-motion design concept. The designer brought the front face to the next generation of front-end expression from Nissan. Everything from the hood to the A-pillar supports the big V motion movement. This approach makes it instantly recognizable even from a distance.


“A long time ago, passenger sedans were for customers looking for practical cars. Today, a lot of these buyers are more into crossover. So in the last 10 years, passenger cars have been freed to become more expressive in their design. A lot of passenger cars now make a much bolder design statement than what was seen maybe 10 or 20 years ago. And that’s a kind of trend at Nissan.”


Another key design feature is the body color. Current trends are for the most solid light color across the board. But the lead designer took a different approach for the New Nissan Almera. This gray sky pearl is a shifting color, depending on the time and light. Sometimes it looks very gray, sometimes very blue, and sometimes a bit purplish. From a distance, the color looks solid, but closer up, the pearl effect becomes evident. Darker shadows also highlight the sporty design of the sedan. 

“That has been done intentionally to create more of a shape on the body, brighter highlights or darker shadows rather than just a typical solid color. That way it just looks like a big box of color.”

Color can reflect the true character of an object. When talking about a sports car, people tend to visualize bright red as this color is connected with performance and speed. Patel took a different approach, however. He decided to go for a bluish tone, which also reflects the sporty spirit and modern design, similar to the design of today’s modern sportswear.

“It’s meant to be this uplifting joyous color, and I hope it’s also very approachable.”

The unique next-generation V-motion concept makes a difference for the New Nissan Almera. “We don’t want it to be too simple or too complicated.  We want people to look at the car and remember it when they look away. We want to make the car memorable.”

In addition to the outstanding design and unique color, the New Nissan Almera continues to maintain its strength as a reliable and roomy sedan. New features that better support the modern lifestyle have been added. NissanConnect Services, for example, has been introduced to celebrate the always-connected lifestyle, allowing owners to remotely control and communicate with the car. Using their smartphones, drivers can remotely lock the car, start the engine, and even locate. Integrated with this app is the first-in-class SOS button that initiates instant contact with Nissan’s emergency support center through the in-car audio system.

New Nissan Almera also comes with 360° Safety Shield technology plus new features that were earlier only available in the premium class. The first-in-class Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) allows the driver to see the air pressure inside each tire and sends an alert when the air pressure does not meet requirements. High Beam Assist (HBA) automatically switches the headlights setting to low beam from high beam when it detects a vehicle ahead. Lane Departure Warning (LDW) notifies the driver when they begin to leave the lane in which they are traveling. 


And, of course, the sporty sedan continues to be powered by the unique 1.0-liter turbo engine which delivers impressive power and fuel efficiency.

Summing up, Patel said, “I hope that whoever buys the Almera will enjoy it. If they’re buying it for their family or using it to drive their children where they need to go, I hope they have a fulfilling time and good memories. I hope it’s comfortable if they take their parents somewhere. And for people who are buying and tuning them the car or doing something cool and expressive with it, I hope they have a good time.”


About Hiren Patel
Hiren Patel is Sr. Design Manager at Nissan Design America (NDA) located in San Diego, California, U.S., a division of Nissan North America, Inc.  He is responsible for managing exterior design projects assigned to NDA by Nissan’s design headquarters, Nissan Global Design Center (NGDC) in Atsugi, Japan.

Since joining NDA in 2001 as an exterior designer, Patel’s creative energy and drive have been instrumental in the development of many concept and production vehicle designs, including the 2007 Nissan Rogue, 2012 Nissan EXTREM Concept, 2014 Nissan KICKS Concept, 2014 Nissan Navara/NP300 Frontier and Nissan KICKS.

Patel was born in Leicester, England and moved to the United States when he was seven years old. In 2001, Patel graduated from Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design.