Nissan reveals IMx zero-emission concept at Tokyo Motor Show
Concept vehicle is an all-electric, fully autonomous vehicle
More News from Jason K. Ang
Nissan has been one of the proponents of electric vehicles, having almost 300,000 units of the all-electric drive Leaf hatchback.
The Leaf’s second generation offers even greater range and a new suite of safety features.
Building on the Leaf’s electric and Nissan’s Intelligent Driving, which include autonomous vehicles, is the Nissan IMx.
The IMx is an all-electric crossover concept vehicle that can drive autonomously. Its electric powertrain provide s a driving range of more than 600 km.
The IMx is meant to showcase Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility approach, which centers on safety, convenience, as well as enjoyment in driving.
Nissan says that 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.
“The IMx zero-emission crossover concept vehicle embodies the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility,” said Daniele Schillaci, executive vice president for Global Marketing and Sales, Zero-emission Vehicles and Battery 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.”
The IMx features a future version of Nissan’s ProPilot autonomous driving technology. Several of Nissan’s current models already feature a form of ProPilot that takes control of the acceleration, steering, and braking functions as a form of driver assist.
IMx takes that further: 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.
The IMx is a zero-emission concept vehicle that runs on electric power. Nissan’s new electric vehicle (EV) platform allows for a completely flat floor, expanding cabin space and improving driving dynamics, thanks to a lower center of gravity compared to conventional combustion-engined vehicles.
While the IMx is a crossover, it promises sharper handling, thanks to low mounting of most of the vehicle’s batteries and running gear.
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 that has been redesigned and re-engineered for increased energy density.
This new battery supports a driving range of more than 600 kilometers on a single charge, so occupants can enjoy an extended adventure without worrying about recharging.
Nissan sees the IMx as adaptable to social needs as well. For example, the car can park itself and connect to the local power grid. It can supply electrical power to the grid and act as a virtual power plant.
Once the owner returns, the IMx can pick him/her 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.
The IMx’s styling is unique in that the exterior and interior are no longer sharply delinated.
The IMx is designed to feel open, while still maintaining a degree of privacy. It 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.”
The interior features a space concept similar to that of a traditional Japanese house with its 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 head rest—patterned like kumiki, a Japanese interlocking wood puzzle—is made from silicon-material cushioning and a frame produced by a 3D printer.
The driver can control the car with eye movements and hand gestures. Move over, Tom Cruise ala Minority Report.
Artificial intelligence monitors the driver’s actions, and allows intuitive control with few physical controls and switches.