Nissan’s Energetic Flow & Gliding Wing Design Languages Explained
Nissan’s “Energetic Flow” and “Gliding Wing” are two new design languages that the automaker has been debuting on some of its most recent automobiles, including the new 2016 Nissan Altima, Maxima, and Murano. The key difference between them is that the Energetic Flow design language applies to the exterior styling and Gliding Wing to the interior design.
Nissan has partitioned its Energetic Flow exterior design to three areas of the car: the side, front, and rear. On the side, there are two things to look for: a floating roof and a kick-up waist line. At the front, it’s the signature V-Motion Grille and the “boomerang” headlamps that draw attention. Finally, the rear also features the boomerang lamps as well as what the automaker calls “brand symbol enhancement,” but as far as we can tell that just means showing the Nissan badge.
To break it down, Nissan is designing lines and contours that change direction similar to a V with two angles at the tip rather than one. This creates a visible flow of energy that is most noticeable on the boomerang headlamps and taillights. The grille follows the same pattern, except the scope of the design is larger and extends into the hood. Even the side embraces this, though more subtly, as the waistline dips down at the A-pillar then kicks back up at the C-pillar.
The Nissan Gliding Wing design philosophy is a lot easier to discern than Energetic Flow because it applies to just one part of the cabin: the dashboard. The idea is simple enough, in that the dash should curve upward and away from the center console to give the impression of extended wings. It’s a bit hard to do in practice, but well exemplified in the Nissan Sway Concept that debuted in Geneva last year.
Ultimately, Nissan’s Energetic Flow and Gliding Wing design languages are meant to create a sense of movement both in and out of the car, while also hinting at efficiency through the feeling of lightness conveyed by the gliding wing design.
Tim Shults likes to play golf and spend time with his four daughters.