Nissan's Titan-based NV is new to North America, but the automaker is already showing the next generation van in its home market. The NV350 is set to go on sale in Japan summer of 2012 with other markets to follow.

The upcoming NV350 can be configured for cargo or passengers as a passenger van or a minibus. Models designed to carry passengers will have 50-50 split folding rear seats to accommodate both people and cargo. Cargo vans have longer cargo areas than the outgoing model, and can accommodate items nearly 10 feet in length. Cargo vans will also feature mounting nuts embedded into interior side panels so owners can customize it by attaching hooks, shelves, or other fittings to hold tools, equipment or merchandise, according to their needs.

Nissan says the new vans will offer improved fuel economy thanks to advanced engine and automatic transmission technology. A clean diesel engine option will be available in some markets. The automaker claims that the NV350 will be the first commercial van with a proximity sensor in the key fob and push button start. The keyless entry allows owners to leave the key in their pocket of bag making it easier to load and unload the van with both hands full.

"The NV350 offers a variety of amenities that are unusual in this vehicle class, including the world's first keyless pushbutton start function in a commercial vehicle," said Hideto Murakami, Corporate Vice President of LCV Business Unit, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd, in a press release. "Superior fuel economy projects the NV350 to be the segment leader and the customizable cargo area can be adapted to different needs. I am confident, whether for business and personal use, the NV350 will exceed expectations."

The gear shift lever has been moved to the dashboard and the parking brake has been moved to the floor, allowing more room up front. A rear view camera will be available to assist in backing up. Nissan has not released details regarding powertrain information or an on-sale date for the North American market.

Source: Nissan