More stories related to 2005 NAIAS DETROIT – Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.’s Infiniti division says its offbeat Kuraza concept is a look at “the future of luxury.”

Many onlookers, meanwhile, breathe a quiet hope that the car is a pure concept – with no production intent.

Auto show veterans here are accustomed to sometimes shocking concept cars, but the Kuraza’s unveiling here left many speechless as they considered the car’s outrageous greenhouse/sheetmetal relationship.

Kuraza shocking on outside, serene inside.

The overturned-fishbowl effect of the glass area is a deliberate attempt, says Infiniti, to ensure all six passengers – seated in three rows of two seats – enjoy equal comfort and avoid a claustrophobic feeling.

The concept car’s emphasis is on space, not utility, says Infiniti, adding Kuraza was designed to maximize serenity for its occupants, targeted to be empty nesters.

Kuraza also features three doors on each side, so that even the rearmost occupants are not required to squirm to their seats past the second row. The rearmost doors are rear-hinged.

Inside, Kuraza designers focused on seats that cosset like a Japanese kimono. Emphasis was placed on making the interior open and inviting for occupants of all seats, highlighted by a center console with folding arms to allow unfettered movement from one side of the vehicle to the other.

Outside, Kuraza features retractable aluminum side steps with wood inlays, which facilitate ingress and egress.

bvisnic@primediabusiness.com