Infiniti Kuraza’s

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Infiniti hopes to use the Kuraza in the same manner as the Triant, a past concept: as a look into the future. Just as the Triant presaged the production FX, the Kuraza is a nod toward future Infiniti SUV interiors. It is meant to exemplify the gracefulness and precision of Japanese culture. This includes a philosophy that offers all six occupants equal space and amenities and a combination of “traditional Japanese design cues, extensive use of natural materials, and modern technology” in one environment. Notably, all passengers also get their own doors. The front- and middle-row doors are conventional, while third-row doors open suicide-style.

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Externally, the Kuraza has a stepped roof, huge 23-inch wheels, automatically retracting running boards, and loads of glass above all occupants. The driver and front passenger get their own panels, while rear occupants are treated to a single, huge pane. The boxy, yet somehow curvaceous, shape was clearly dictated, however, by the desire of the design team to create a truly people-friendly interior. In other words, this concept was designed from the inside out.

A look at the passenger compartment reveals a center console running the entire length of the vehicle, an abbreviated, semi-circle steering wheel, and enough wood to deforest a small national park. While the full-length console is undeniably stylish, we hope the idea dies with the concept, given its impracticality in a real-world sport-utility vehicle. Sections do, however, swing out of the way to allow for side-to-side pass-through. The ecru-colored leather seats are meant to echo the shape of the traditional Japanese kimono and the large vertical screen that occupies the center stack is programmed to display changing images of nature in addition to important information.

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Here’s a set of photos I took after the Infiniti Kuraza’s introduction in January of 2005, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Comfort is the Key

Infiniti designed the Kuraza with passenger comfort in mind, with stadium seating for two in each of the three rows and a stepped-up roof line above rear passengers.

Third row seating is accessed through an extra set of wide, rear-hinged doors, and the absence of a pillar between the second and third row makes the opening for rear seating even larger.

The Kuraza offers its passengers a panoramic view of the outside through large windows with wrap-around rear glass and three overhead glass roof panels. At night, the roof area is defined by subtle overhead lighting.

Kojii Nagano, the product design director who headed the Kuraza design team, offered the press his thoughts about a portion of the team’s design objectives:

“Kuraza, like a beautiful guest room in a fine home, is not designed to be used everyday. It is intended as a social space for six adult friends, such as couples meeting at a resort and heading out together for a special dinner. Therefore it doesn’t need all of the usual utility features, including cupholders, excess luggage space, storage compartments and individual DVD monitors.”

Scribbled on January 2nd 2009 in Infiniti, Infiniti Kuraza
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