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Leticia Bonjorno turns Nissan Frontier into a ‘beast’

Automotive stylist develops color and trim for the Frontier Attack Concept at Nissan’s Brazil design studio


Revealed at the Buenos Aires Motor Show in June, the Nissan Frontier Attack Concept has earned the nickname “the Beast.”

With bold graphics and intense colors, the new concept vehicle leaves no doubt as to its provocative instincts. The inspiration for the design came from Leticia Bonjorno, a 26-year-old automotive stylist at Nissan Design America Rio.

“This car is above all a design exercise in terms of color and trim, because the overall body style hasn’t changed compared with the production model,” said Bonjorno. “This is an example of what can be done with the right materials and refinement to change a car completely.”

Developing the color and trim for the Frontier Attack was Bonjorno’s first assignment at the design studio. Before starting a design, it’s important to understand a vehicle’s genes and design cues to make a model specifically for the target buyer, she said.

“The first idea that comes to my mind is, is it going to look like the production model, or will it be noticeably different?” said Bonjorno. “After all, our ultimate goal is that customers see the difference on the road.”

Bonjorno picked black as a backdrop for the concept vehicle to create an elegant and attractive interior. The seat trim is highlighted by a few touches of color: red stiches on door panels and seats, in-dash buttons and steering wheel, air vents and center console moldings, in addition to details in chrome or gray found on the instrument panel and seats. The back of the front seats features an “Attack” logo. For the exterior, Bonjorno highlighted the car’s tough off-road image with bright red and chrome black.

“The idea was to cover the car with bold colors to accent its extreme stance and robustness while showing attention to detail, because a car can be equally a beast and sophisticated,” she said.

Bonjorno has had a passion for art since early childhood.

“As far as I can recall, I’ve been into art since I was a baby – whether drawing, doing pottery or painting,” she said.
Design was the obvious choice when she went to college. She never thought she would work with cars, until she was introduced to the industry by friends in school. She developed a passion for cars when she joined the Nissan Design America Rio team.

The automotive business has traditionally been male-dominated, so women have to go a step further to assert themselves, Bonjorno said. “Fortunately, this is starting to become a thing of the past,” she added.

Nissan Design America Rio knew it would be a challenge when the team received the Frontier to begin the transformation, said Robert Bauer, the studio’s chief designer.

“The Frontier is super tough, capable and refined,” Bauer said. “We wanted mean, aggressive, Ultimate Fighting Championship style. Leticia tamed `the beast’ with her exceptional talent and brought out the true soul of the Frontier.”

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