The Nissan IMx, an all-electric crossover concept vehicle offering fully autonomous operation and a driving range of more than 600 kilometers, was unveiled 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.

“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 the 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.”

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 kilometers 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 head rest – 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.

Nissan Motor Company, Ltd. unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolise future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally-friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.

Carlos Ghosn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., said: “These prototypes epitomise Nissan’s drive to expand its Intelligent Mobility strategy, where driving pleasure combines with environmental responsibility. Nissan believes that enthusiasts should look forward to a zero emission future and BladeGlider is a perfect demonstration of that. It’s the electric vehicle for car-lovers.”

The debut of the BladeGlider prototypes forms part of Nissan’s ongoing commitment to the development of zero-emission vehicles and new automotive technologies including autonomous drive systems and connectivity. Nissan already sells the world’s highest-volume zero-emission car, the LEAF, and is pioneering Intelligent Mobility systems that will be deployed in a range of vehicles over coming years.

With the BladeGlider, Nissan’s vision was for an agile, efficient EV that would provide new dimensions of driving fun and excitement - a car that would ‘glide’, thanks to the near-silent performance of its electric powertrain and aerodynamic shape. After two years of work on design, engineering and development, Nissan BladeGlider has evolved further into an exciting, real-life study into the potential of advanced EV performance.

BladeGlider epitomises Intelligent Mobility, a philosophy to make its cars more exciting by redefining how they are driven, powered and integrated into society. The demonstration models feature an advanced chassis configuration with a narrow front track and wider rear track for optimum aerodynamic efficiency and handling stability.

High-waisted, rear-hinged dihedral doors provide a dramatic entry and exit to the cabin. The open roof of BladeGlider is reinforced with an integrated roll-over protection structure, providing the exhilaration of an open-topped race car with the safety of a coupé.

Wheel-mounted controls for BladeGlider’s systems feed into an advanced display showing speed, state of battery charge, regeneration mode and torque map. Flanking the central display are two screens, with the images of rear-view cameras mounted just behind the front wheels. An alternative to door-mounted mirrors, this dual screen design improves the aerodynamic efficiency of BladeGlider. The driver sits in arrowhead formation slightly in front of two passengers, who enjoy extended legroom. The view for all occupants is panoramic, thanks to the seamless cockpit windscreen.

Power is 100 per cent electric, with exceptional powertrain performance delivered by Nissan’s technical partner for the BladeGlider project, UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering. Maximum speed of the demonstration models is in excess of 190km/h*, with 0-100km/h taking less than 5 seconds*. The rear wheels’ drive is provided by two 130kW electric motors – one for each wheel.

The system features torque vectoring, controlling the torque delivered to the driven wheels, improving the handling even further. With torque vectoring, if the car starts to understeer, it automatically sends more torque to the outside wheel to restore the handling balance. Designed to add to the driving experience rather than govern it, the torque vectoring systems has three settings: off, agile and drift mode.

Power is supplied by a high performance five module lithium-ion 220kW battery. Bespoke cooling systems have been developed for both the battery and the motors. The interior of the BladeGlider reflects the vehicles’ sporting intentions, with four point safety harnesses for each occupant. The seats offer exceptional support to sides and legs of the driver and passengers. The seats are trimmed in a highly tactile blend of fabric and epoxy resin coating, resulting in a tough and grippy material that has the effect of comfortably adhering occupants securely in place.

There are two colour trims – Cyber Green and Stealth Orange. These colours are used for the upper portions of the seat back, and framed with a silver reflective material to create an eye-catching, sporty look. The base of the seats is in black, patterned material, with a band of green and orange trim framing the cushion.

Two BladeGliders are being presented in Rio de Janeiro this month. One will be on static display in Rio while the second will be offering dynamic rides to media and VIPs.

Key specifications:

Top speed

> 190 km/h (115 mph)*

Acceleration 0-100 km/h (62 mph)

< 5 seconds

Power

200 kW (268hp)

Torque

707Nm

Weight

1,300kg

Length

4,300mm

Width

1,850mm

Height

1,300mm

Wheelbase

2,800mm

*Figures recorded by Williams Advanced Engineering