On Friday, Nissan revealed the most affordable EV to date. The so-called Sakura is an adorable electric minicar with a base price of just under $14,000 (2,333,100 yen).
Intended for the Japanese market, where kei city cars popular, the Sakura comes with some pretty top-notch features for its category.
Powered by a 20 kW lithium-ion battery, the EV has a top speed of 130 km/h and enough energy for a range of 180 km — just 60 km less than the Nissan Leaf.
On the inside you will find that the car has enough space for four people, with a luggage space of 107 liters.
Although the interior is rather minimalistic, the driver can use two large displays for driver assistance and navigation.
In addition, the Sakura is the first mini-vehicle with an advanced driver assistance system, with automatic steering, acceleration, braking and parking capabilities.
But the most intriguing thing about the minicar is the way Nissan decided to bring it into the world. Following its physical debut at the company’s Yokohama headquarters, the automaker also held a metaverse unveiling.
yes one metaverse disclosure† You can watch it in the video below:
Watching the video shows a bunch of weird looking avatars gathered in Nissan’s virtual showroom. In what looks like an anime movie, the company’s representatives present the EV to virtual customers, who are even allowed to take the Sakura for a “test drive.”
And the metaverse experience is not limited to disclosure. The Sakura will be on display in the VR Nissan Crossing showroom to provide a digital opportunity for consumer engagement.
To be honest I think it’s all ridiculous.
While I personally hate the idea of the metaverse and a future virtual version of everything, the absurdity of “experiencing” a vehicle in this way doesn’t make any sense to me at all.
Real experience is key when it comes to choosing a car. It’s about understanding the dimensions within a concrete space, feeling the force and acceleration, and even visually assessing whether the look and feel is to your liking.
A virtual version simply cannot meet these standards. I seriously hope that the Sakura’s entry into the metaverse is more of a playful marketing strategy than an indication of how we will choose our vehicles in the future.
Call me old-fashioned, but I’ll spend as long as I can look at cars in showrooms with real walls and drive them in real conditions.