Nissan Motor on Monday showed off a small van concept at its Nissan Design Europe (NDE) centre in the UK.

Called NV200 and due for a global debut at the Tokyo motor show next October, the concept is said to turn conventional light commercial design inside out.

The key feature is a storage pod which extends from the van's load area when the vehicle is parked. As the pod is deployed, the now empty load bay is transformed into a mobile office.

The NV200 was developed by Nissan Design Centre in Japan and NDE in Paddington, west London.

"By having no pre-conceived ideas about what form NV200 should take, the team has developed a radical, futuristic, but entirely practical new concept," Nissan said.

Nonetheless, the van's nose styling appears to be an evolution of the current mid-size model Nissan sells in Europe in a venture with Renault and GM ( these are made in the UK and Spain) crossed with the Murano SUV.

"A light commercial vehicle has a specific job to perform, but that's no reason to design a purely rational vehicle with no warmth. For NV200, function becomes the aesthetic. Our concept is a highly efficient tool but one with a human touch," said Shiro Nakamura, senior vice president and chief creative officer at Nissan Motor.

Although NV200 answers the specific needs of a professional underwater photographer with 'wet' and 'dry' storage zones in the pod for diving and camera equipment, the basic concept could be tailored to suit different customers, the automaker said.

The pod is latched inside the load area when the van is being driven. At the destination, it slides out rearwards to allow easy access to the storage zones. As the pod is withdrawn from the van, the area left behind is transformed into a mobile office. The front passenger seat swivels backwards on a curved rail to face a computer table, which drops down from the side of the van.