June 17, 2021

Gp Delivers

The excellent automotive artisans

Retired Nissan legend Shiro Nakamura isn’t done

Nakamura declined to name his latest clients but says it’s a mix of established international brands and startups from Western countries and China — but not Japan. The work spans everything from interior to exterior design, but the projects have one thing in common: 90 percent of the work is for electric vehicles.

None of Nakamura’s latest creations has made it to production yet. Most of the studios’ handiwork is in upstream design proposals. The first ones should hit the market in two years.

In his earlier days, Nakamura was known for pioneering the crossover segment, first by overseeing the Isuzu VehiCross concept and then a string of car-cum-trucks at Nissan that included the Qashqai, Rogue, Juke and Infiniti FX. But he also was at the helm for other iconic looks, such as the Leaf electric vehicle, with its bulging headlights, and the icebox-shaped Cube.

Going freelance, however, allows him to branch out. Nakamura’s stable of stylists is working on an all-electric super sports car, a full-sized heavy truck and an electric motorcycle.

Nakamura even wants to dabble in designing audio speaker systems and wristwatches.

“We even do our own programs without a client,” Nakamura said. “You have to explore by yourself. You never know; some company may be interested. I don’t want to be restricted.”

When he’s not dreaming up new ideas, Nakamura still acts as a juror for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy.

He also tends his own classic car collection, which includes a silver 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC, a red Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider and a yellow Nissan Z 432 — a special run that was equipped with a GT-R engine and limited to 500 units.