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Mixim maximum impact


Batman's new car is here, its the futuristic Nissan Mixim, which will be rolled into the spotlight at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week.

The Mixim will show what the Japanese carmaker can do to lure youngsters to the world of electric cars, even though the wild gull-wing body is draped over the basics of the Micra baby car.

Nissan says the three-seater Mixim is a one-off show car, but there is more to the edgy coupe than its design.

It runs on compact lithium-ion batteries, uses a pair of 'Super Motor' electric motor-generators at each end to give it all-wheel-drive, and is claimed to run hard with a useful range between plug-in top-ups.

It will not be stretched at the Frankfurt show, but Nissan will still prove it is more than just a dream machine.

The heart of the Mixim program is development of greener cars to get young people to buy into the future of motoring.

That is why the cockpit is more like a gaming console, with the driver sitting in the centre and operating a wheel and controls that are more like a computer interface.

The two passengers, sitting on either side, are just like spectators in an arcade.

The shape is based on a sharp wedge body, a wrap-around windscreen inspired by the visor of a crash helmet, and gull-wing doors.

The nose is closed because there is no radiator to feed, but the body has a big back end with a hatchback luggage cover.

Though the Mixim is just for show, the Micra is getting closer to local showrooms.

At Frankfurt, it will also be tweaked with a Colour+Concept show car dripping with liquid metal gold paint over a base of pearlescent white.

There will also be a mild facelift of the showroom Mica, which is the car coming to Australia, including a new look for the headlamps, more chrome on the body, blacked-out B pillars and a new Bluetooth-compatible sound system and an essential iPod plug-in.