Just weeks after unveiling its second-generation Leaf, Nissan has unveiled the IMx all-electric concept car at this week’s Tokyo motor show.
The IMx boasts two of Nissan's key technologies: all-electric drivetrain and autonomous driving, part of the company's Intelligent Mobility strategy. Nissan says the IMx boasts an electric range of 600km and a "future version" of ProPilot.
“The IMx zero-emission crossover concept vehicle embodies the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility,” said Daniele Schillaci, Nissan's head of Global Marketing and Sales for its battery and electric car business. “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.”
With ProPilot switched on, the concept's steering wheel actually folds away and, amusingly, reclines all of the seats so the passengers can stare out of the full-length sunroof.
Motivation is supplied by two electric motors, one at the front and at the rear. Combined power output is a whopping 320kW with 700Nm of torque. Nissan says the IMx's battery pack has been redesigned for increased density, hence the claimed 600km range. The quoted longer range is also a pointer to the much-rumoured Leaf sporting a figure not far off the IMx's.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the IMx is the body style - Nissan executives steadfastly refused to speculate on an all-electric compact SUV as a sibling to the Leaf. The Leaf platform is ripe for a bit of extra ride height to catapult the company into the fastest-growing sector in the automotive world.
Inside is rather more fantasy than reality. The interior design draws heavily on traditional elements found in Japanese homes, such as shoji paper screens and a kumiki 3D puzzle. There are few buttons and switches in the interior, with many functions controlled by eye movements and hand gestures. The passenger space is ringed by textured wood (someone has been in a BMW i3 and liked what they saw) and the floor is completely flat, a happy by-product of its electric propulsion.
The IMx is sharing Nissan’s Tokyo the stand with a NISMO version of the Leaf and with any luck, both will make it into production - the IMx has rather more work left in it before being production ready though. Nissan makes no secret of wanting to expand its electric line-up beyond the Leaf, along with corresponding Renaults and, soon enough, Mitsubishis.
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