Nissan has started 2022 much like it started 2021, showing an inspiring adventure van concept that encourages a more active lifestyle. Its Caravan Mountain Base Concept looks and feels like a mountain lodge and offers a respite for weary trail runners pushing deep into the wild. It’s both a pre-run staging point and post-run cool-down lounge.
Nissan used last year’s Tokyo Auto Salon as an excuse to turn its Caravan into an impressive expandable mobile office, a working man or woman’s personal nature escape. For this year’s Auto Salon, it turns the mildly refreshed Caravan into a more rustic mobile space, using exterior wood paneling to give it the feel of a mountain lodge or cabin.
The paneling continues inside on the walls, ceiling and floor, supported by a structural lattice that works perfectly for hanging helmets, water bottles, coffee mugs and other outdoor gear. An electric fireplace completes the lodge-like feel, while a simple combination of long bench and worktop create a space that’s functional for everything from preparing a meal, to lacing up running shoes, to mapping out a route. Above the worktop is a large digital screen visible through the wood paneling.
The most interesting feature of the Mountain Base is its readily adjustable solar panel. Like other adventure-van solar arrays, it rides flat on the roof, collecting sunlight during the drive. At camp, however, it boosts efficiency by tilting up and rotating in the direction of the sun, thereby combining the benefits of a traditional roof-mounted system with those of a more adjustable standalone solar panel array that stores away during driving.
While Nissan designed the concept for trail runners, the build is simple and universal enough that it could support virtually any type of outdoor adventurer, from snowshoers and backcountry skiers in the winter, to mountain bikers and rock climbers in the summer.
Whatever the driver’s passion, the rugged tires, off-road light bar and X-shaped protective front guard with diagonal running lights will help them get after it. Nissan also offers a 4WD option on the Caravan.
Nissan doesn’t show any indication of overnight camping capabilities on the Mountain Base, but in the absence of a pull-out sleeping platform, it looks easy enough to drop an inflatable pad down on the open floor. The large solar panel interferes with a rooftop tent, but a hitch-mounted tent or shelter would be another option. And, of course, carrying a good-old fashioned ground tent is always an alternative.
If those overnight solutions seem inelegant, Nissan will also show the Caravan interpreted as a rolling hotel room in Tokyo. The MyRoom Concept isn’t a complete camper, but it does appear to be a luxurious living space with sofa, mattress, magazine holder, table, storage and plenty of light wood paneling of its own. Park it next to a secluded hot spring and you have yourself a private spa hotel.
The Tokyo Auto Salon kicks off on January 14. We’ll look for additional Mountain Base Concept details once it gets underway.
Source: Nissan (Japanese)