New Nissan cars such as the next-generation Nissan Qashqai may offer an interior that feels like the skin on a human finger.
(Read MotorTorque's review of the Nissan Qashqai N-Tec)
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Boffins at Nissan's Japanese plant have revealed that they're developing a new synthetic skin for their luxury models that experts say would resemble the texture of human skin - and with Nissan's popular family car set for a revamp it could feature the technology when it goes on sale.
Why? Because according to Nissan's research the delicate touch of a human hand is one of the most pleasant sensory experiences that someone can feel.
Nissan's design team is hoping to replicate that feeling in its new artificial upholstery, which will include the warmth, texture and moistness of the human touch.
According to Nissan, 'the closer the surface texture is to a human fingerprint, the better it feels'.
Nissan insists the interior concept will be one of the most premium on the market, and could appear as early as 2014 in the next-generation Nissan Qashqai.
Details on the next-generation Qashqai are pretty thin at the moment, but the shell is expected to stay relatively unchanged from the current model.
The new Qashqai will retain its 4,330mm length, with boot and interior space remaining the same. The biggest updates will likely be seen in the Qashqai's style, which should mimic the features revealed in the manufacturer's Hi-Cross concept seen at Geneva in March.
Though space in the car's interior will remain roomy, the rest of the package is expected to get a complete design overhaul to rival the quality found within the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and other models such as the Skoda Yeti and Kia Sportage.
The new Qashqai will have a sportier exterior with chrome surrounds and other contemporary features. Engine-wise a 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine is rumoured to replace the 1.6-litre, and will provide 113bhp, returning 50mpg and emitting as little as 105g/km of CO2.
The Qashqai has been Nissan's biggest-selling car since it was released in 2006, with over one million units produced so far.
1,200 Qashqais are estimated to be produced on a daily basis at Nissan's Sunderland plant, with more than 80 per cent of its parts coming from UK suppliers.
Written by John Meadowcroft