THE Nissan IMx, an all-electric crossover concept vehicle offering fully autonomous operation and a driving range of more than 600km (373 miles), was unveiled today at the Tokyo Motor Show.
The innovative concept vehicle provides a glimpse into the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, Nissan’s approach to changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated with society. It’s designed to strengthen the link between car and driver as a close, reliable partner that delivers a safer, more convenient and more enjoyable drive.
By offering unprecedented enjoyment in motion and the ability to control the vehicle’s drive mode, the Nissan IMx aims to transform the everyday life of drivers.
Daniele Schillaci, executive vice president for global marketing and sales, zero-emission vehicles and the battery business, said: “The IMx zero-emission crossover concept vehicle embodies the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility.
“Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, Nissan is committed to changing the way people and cars communicate, as well as how cars interact with society in the near future and beyond.”
Making travel more enjoyable: Nissan Intelligent Driving At the core of the IMx’s technological features is a future version of ProPILOT that offers fully autonomous operation. When ProPILOT drive mode is selected, the system stows the steering wheel inside the dashboard and reclines all seats, giving the driver more space and allowing the vehicle’s occupants to relax and enjoy their commute. When Manual drive mode is selected, the vehicle returns the steering wheel and seats to their original position, seamlessly transferring control back to the driver.
Promoting the convenience and pleasure of electric driving: Nissan Intelligent Power The Nissan IMx zero-emission concept vehicle adopts Nissan’s new EV platform, designed for maximum efficiency. It allows the floor to be completely flat, resulting in a cavernous cabin and enhanced driving dynamics. With a low center of gravity, the chassis delivers sharp handling that promises to redefine the crossover segment.
The powerful yet quiet powertrain delivers enhanced excitement. The IMx is propelled by a pair of high-output electric motors at the front and rear, giving it all-wheel-drive capability. They combine to produce 320 kW of power and an astounding 700 Nm of torque, sourced from a high-capacity battery which has been redesigned and re-engineered for increased energy density. This new battery supports a driving range of more than 600 kilometres on a single charge, so occupants can enjoy an extended adventure without worrying about recharging.
Becoming part of the social infrastructure: Nissan Intelligent Integration
The Nissan IMx can also contribute to the social infrastructure like no other vehicle before it. For example, after transporting its owner to the airport, the IMx can park itself in a spot where the vehicle can connect to the local power grid and act as a “virtual” power plant by returning electricity to the grid, an extension of its vehicle-to-home and vehicle-to-building features. Once the owner returns, the IMx can pick them up at the terminal and drive home. The whole process is carried out efficiently, thanks in part to the increased battery capacity and connected-car technologies, including Seamless Autonomous Mobility.
New EV design philosophies for the autonomous era Until now, vehicles have been designed with a clear differentiation between exterior and interior. Exterior design provides a sense of security from the outside, while the interior design gives drivers an appropriate environment for concentrating on driving.
This purpose-based differentiation is likely to change with the arrival of fully autonomous vehicles. Nissan’s designers sought to redefine the interior space of the IMx to create a sense of openness, while maintaining a feeling of privacy. To achieve this, they endeavored to design a space that links up the inside and outside of the vehicle.
They also wanted to convey the key characteristics of electric vehicles – quiet and smooth with a sense of light, yet powerful and dynamic. They took inspiration from the Japanese concepts of ma, a sense of space and time, and wa (harmony), expressing the coexistence of two seemingly contradictory concepts – “stillness” and “motion.”
Exterior design: showcasing the unique characteristics of electric vehicles
The IMx’s styling conveys its clean and sporty electric-vehicle attributes by incorporating Nissan’s signature design features. From the familiar V-motion grille, the supple character line rises and flows to the hood and rear end. The broad surfaces of the distinctively shaped front fenders start from the grille and expand seamlessly onto the body sides, creating a sense of layers.
The vermillion accent color, contrasting vividly with the pearl white-colored body, is inspired by uramasari, which describes the beauty and extravagance found on the inside of traditional Japanese kimonos.
Interior design: spacious and relaxing, with simplicity
The IMx concept vehicle’s interior adheres to the basic concept of space that can be found in a traditional Japanese house, suggesting a sense of openness.
The car’s panoramic OLED instrument panel displays a view of the external environment in the background. A separate, wood grain-patterned display, positioned below the instrument panel and wrapping around the interior door trims, gives occupants a subtle sense of the outside, similar to a shoji, a traditional Japanese paper screen.
The katanagare diagonal pattern on the seats has been delicately etched with a laser cutter. The headrest – patterned like kumiki, a Japanese interlocking wood puzzle – is made from silicon-material cushioning and a frame produced by a 3D printer.
Artificial intelligence enables the driver to control the instrument panel with eye movements and hand gestures. This intuitive interface results in fewer physical controls and switches, making the cabin of the IMx simple yet highly efficient and adding to its supreme comfort.
The Future Sound Of Nissan’s Electric Vehicles: Canto
Not only did Nissan debut a new concept vehicle at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show – it also surprised the crowd with the introduction of “Canto,” the future sound of Nissan’s electrified vehicles.
Daniele Schillaci added: “An important element of Nissan Intelligent Mobility is how the vehicle integrates with society, and a crucial component of that is sound. ‘Canto’ has been developed to help with pedestrian safety, as well as to provide a distinct Nissan sound – one that is energizing and confident, authentic to our brand and representing our unique position in the electrified marketplace.”
“Canto” is derived from Latin for “I sing.” The sound varies in tone and pitch depending on whether the vehicle is accelerating, decelerating or backing up. The sound is activated at speeds of up to 20 to 30 kph, depending on marketplace requirements.
Nissan created “Canto” with the goal of developing an alert sound as the priority. However, it is also designed to enrich the aural environment of the typical city street with a distinct Nissan flair. The level of the sound will be clearly audible, without being overly disturbing to pedestrians, residents and passengers.
Nissan has been a pioneer in the vehicle sound arena since 2010, with its “Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians” system.
Nissan Intelligent Mobility is the company’s approach to changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated with society.