Nissan unveiled its Nissan IMs electric all-wheel drive concept vehicle with full autonomous drive capability at the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The IMs concept features new proportions and stretched interior space—including a unique “Premier Seat” 2 + 1 + 2 seating architecture—designed to create a new vehicle segment: the elevated sports sedan.
Denis Le Vot, senior vice president, chairman of Management Committee, Nissan North America, Inc., also noted during the IMs press conference in Detroit that, following last week’s debut of the longer range 2019 Nissan LEAF e+ at CES 2019 (earlier post), Nissan will launch an additional seven electric vehicles by 2022.
The IMs concept’s powertrain utilizes a high-performance all-wheel-drive (AWD) system powered by a pair of electric motors located at the front and rear of the vehicle. The result is an ideal front/rear weight balance, exceptional traction over slick driving surfaces and excellent cornering performance.
Fitted with an advanced air suspension that adapts to different driving situations, the IMs concept possesses a silky, smooth ride quality and flat cornering character.
The vehicle’s electric powertrain consists of dual electric motors (front and rear) generates 483 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque and a 115-kWh battery provides an estimated range of 380 miles on a single charge.
The IMs concept’s standout exterior transforms the styling of a traditional sedan into a vehicle with provocative proportions, sporty character and excellent aerodynamics. Unique to Nissan, it also seamlessly marries futuristic high-tech qualities with timeless Japanese accents.
Nissan’s V-motion design language, which is incorporated throughout the 2019 Nissan model lineup, is emphasized on the IMs concept’s grille-less front fascia through the shape and placement of the headlamps. The thin V-shaped lighting design is both prominent and practical, giving the entire vehicle a futuristic yet distinctively Nissan look, while aggressive 22-inch wheels add to the vehicle’s sporty attitude.
In Autonomous Drive mode, the IMs concept’s headlights and rear combination light turn blue and the lighting travels continuously from front-to-rear to notify pedestrians and other drivers of its autonomous status.
The IMs concept’s interior represents an entirely new way of visualizing how future commuters will travel in an autonomously driven world. Putting a priority on the vehicle’s interior space, all powertrain components have been tucked completely away underneath the cabin floor.
In manual driving mode, the IMs concept’s interior becomes a driver-centric cockpit with advanced driver-assistance technology and multi-level information displays, giving full vehicle control to the driver.
In autonomous drive mode, the IMs concept can transform from an engaging driver’s car to a fully autonomous vehicle, allowing the driver to engage in conversation with passengers, catch up on work or just enjoy the numerous entertainment options.
Dominating the rear space is the innovative “Premier Seat,” an oversized center seat that appears out of the three-across rear seat after the slim outboard positions are folded. The interior color treatment utilizes darker materials in contrast to the lighter, simpler exterior. Gold details are found throughout the interior, providing elements of light to the interior in the same fashion as Japanese paper door screens provide light for traditional Japanese tatami rooms.