Dezeen Magazine

New Balance unveils Nissan Kicks 327 drivable trainer

Nissan's Kicks 327 looks like a giant drivable trainer

Automotive brand Nissan has collaborated with sportswear company New Balance to create the Kicks 327 – a car that resembles a trainer.

Created to promote Nissan's electric Kicks SUV, the collaboration is a play on the car's name, which is slang for trainers.

"The car name Kicks means sneaker in English slang," explained Nissan. "This became the origin of the idea and led to the realisation of a tie-up with sneakers."

Nissan Kicks 327 drivable trainer
The Nissan Kicks 327 (left) was designed to look like the 327 trainer (right)

The SUV was adorned with a body wrap to give it the appearance of a grey New Balance 327 trainer.

The shoe's suede upper was replicated with a graphic print above the wheel arches, while laces were emblazoned on the vehicle's bonnet and the collar, tongue and eyestay were replicated on the roof.

According to Nissan, the 327 trainer was picked for the collaboration because its appearance matches that of the SUV.

Drivable trainer body wrap
The car was covered with a body wrap

"The 327 has a stylish SUV-like appearance and is light and sticks to the ground," the brand explained.

"We thought it would match the concept of the Nissan Kicks e-Power 4WD, which allows you to enjoy driving in any situation, whether on the street or off-road."

Suede details on New Balance car
Suede details were printed on the car

Footwear brand New Balance also emphasised that the trainer's ethos matches that of the SUV.

"327 is a model born from the design inspiration of New Balance's road, trail and race running shoes in the 70s," said New Balance Japan marketing director Ken Suzuki.

"The stylish design and the sole design of the trail running model have been sublimated as fashion, making it a shoe that shines in the city," he continued.

"When I heard about the Kicks concept from Nissan, I immediately thought that it would match the 327."

Rear of New Balance car
The car will be on display in Tokyo

The Kicks 327 will be on display at various locations in Tokyo throughout February and will also be driven around the city.

It is one of several unusual cars already unveiled in 2023, with Rezvani Motors launching the "world's most aggressive SUV", Hyundai debuting a car that can drive sideways and BMW unveiling its colour-changing i Vision Dee concept.