The Nissan IMs, unveiled at the 2019 North American International Auto Show, is a completely new type of car – an “elevated sports sedan” that takes advantage of the packaging, platform and powertrain technology developed through Nissan Intelligent Mobility. While closer to a sedan than a crossover, the Nissan IMs concept’s revolutionary proportions create a vehicle segment all of its own. It is defined by its pure electric-vehicle identity, with the battery located under the body, elevating cabin height. Its stretched interior space, a result of the vehicle’s extended wheelbase, features unique “2+1+2” seating architecture with pivoting front seats and a rear seat that either offers three-across seating, or, once the slim rear outboard seats are folded, an indulgent “Premier Seat” in the rear center, worthy of world-class executive travel.
The powerful exterior and interior design of the IMs is made possible by the innovative electric and autonomous technology developed through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s vision for changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society. The IMs is a study in duality and contrast. In autonomous driving mode, it features completely hands-free operation, whereas in manual driving mode, it delivers the exciting, high-performance driving experience that only an advanced electric vehicle can provide. The IMs also possesses the highest levels of safety technology and virtual world connectivity – all wrapped in an alluring package that highlights modern Japanese design and craftsmanship.
Fully embracing the three pillars of Nissan Intelligent Mobility – Intelligent Driving, Intelligent Power and Intelligent Integration – the IMs moves toward the creation of a sustainable mobile society centered around electric vehicles, autonomous driving and connectivity. The IMs’ electric powertrain consists of dual electric motors (front and rear) and a fast charging 115 kWh battery that generates 483 horsepower (360 kW) and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque, ensuring that the concept car will not only keep up with modern-day sports sedans but leave most of them in the dust. Capable of traveling an estimated 380 miles on a single charge, the IMs is on the same playing field with its gasoline-powered counterparts in terms of range. The powertrain utilizes a high-performance all-wheel-drive system, resulting in an ideal front/rear weight balance, exceptional traction and excellent cornering performance in nearly any conditions.
The Nissan IMs concept’s exterior exemplifies Nissan’s new “elevated sports sedan” design language, which transforms a traditional sedan into a vehicle with provocative proportions, sporty character and excellent aerodynamics. Unique to Nissan, it seamlessly marries futuristic high-tech qualities with timeless Japanese accents. The Nissan IMs exterior form is characterized by simple horizontal and vertical lines rather than sculpted surfaces. It forgoes Nissan’s signature “floating roof” theme to take advantage of the new body proportions’ forward A-pillar and extended C-pillar locations. The sleek shape isn’t just sporty; it also results in a low drag coefficient. Additionally, various body panels, including the fenders, front spoiler, rocker panels and a full-length undertray, provide effective downforce and minimal lift at high speeds. The roofline was inspired by the shape of the moon, with the gold-colored anodized brushed aluminum roof rail accents suggesting the ring of moonlight created by an eclipse.
The interior of the IMs represents a new way of visualizing how commuters will travel in an autonomously driven world. To help express the cabin’s spaciousness, the designers created a visual separation of the body and greenhouse. Putting a priority on the vehicle’s interior space, all powertrain components have been tucked away under the cabin floor. In contrast to the space-age character of the exterior, the IMs’ interior draws its inspiration from a modern Japanese home. In what Nissan designers call “timeless Japanese futurism,” the cabin combines modern Japanese elements, highlighted by examples of high-level craftsmanship, with a high-tech expression. For example, the shapes of the instrument panel and door trim reflect “a spaceship to the moon,” with the use of dark fabrics and colors animated with light streaks suggesting moonlight and shadow. The colors and materials set an intimate mood that can be animated with light around the occupants.
Completing the Nissan IMs’ sense of duality is the advanced graphic user interface. In manual driving mode, the interface is both flexible for upgrades and simple in design, including a minimal number of switches and controls.The interface’s design and logic, combined with full autonomous driving technology, allows the driver to fully experience the high level of performance provided by the IMs’ all-wheel-drive electric powertrain. The large, thin instrument panel with four compact screens follows a horizontal information architecture that enhances the interior space. The layout has been fine-tuned to follow the natural movements of the eye. Directly in front of the driver, unobstructed by the retractable steering wheel, is a “layered” instrument cluster, in which the primary layer provides only critical information to let the driver focus on operating the vehicle without unnecessary distractions. The second layer offers additional information when needed.
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