The Future Of Electric Crossovers With Nissan IMQ Concept

Nissan IMQ

Nissan IMQ Electric Crossover

The Japanese automaker has announced the unveiling of the new Nissan IMQ concept electric SUV. So far, there hasn’t been too much information to go on but the teaser image clearly shows a futuristic crossover. Considering the smorgasbord of features and technologies, Nissan stated that the crossover “embodies the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility and gives a sneak peek as to what might be in your future driveway.”

From first glance, the IMQ seems to blend Japanese heritage with the latest in human-centric technology. It incorporates state-of-the-art innovations that help bring to life the brand’s vision for the future of automotive transportation – Nissan Intelligent Mobility. The styling alone is indicative of Nissan’s pioneering role in crossovers that pushes the boundaries of what a European crossover could be.

Nissan IMQ Concept Features And Technology Systems

The Nissan IMQ Concept is loaded with hi-tech systems including Nissan’s Invisible-to-Visible (I2V) technology and a 3D interface where the “real world” intersects with the virtual. For those who don’t know, I2V technology helps vehicle occupants see things that are often invisible which only adds excitement and confidence to the driving experience.

Nissan’s Omni-Sensing technology connects the IMQ to the real world which allows occupants to “see the invisible”. It senses information inside and outside the car combined with data from the virtual world which is all displayed to the driver and passenger for a brilliant mixed-reality experience.

This technology essentially helps drivers see around corners, get accurate information about traffic jams and identify alternative routes to avoid delays. If you don’t like driving alone, drivers can even enjoy the company of a virtual passenger which appears in the form of a 3D augmented reality avatar.

Nissan has also added an advanced prototype of their ProPILOT driver assist system helping drivers on urban streets and highways. This is made possible through an array of advanced sensors, radars and cameras fitted to the car that can interpret road, traffic and information signals.

Interior And Exterior

While the technology certainly stands out, the Nissan IMQ design is also packed with innovative ideas. For starters, the doors are hinged at the outer edges of the frame for an interior synonymous with that of Blade Runner where the four individual seats, dashboard and centre console seem to float in place.

Everything about the interior is driver-focused which is demonstrated by the 840-millimeter screen embedded in the instrument panel. This graphical user interface is completely black while powered down but comes to life when powered up providing e-POWER status and other vehicle information.

A smaller screen sits above the centre console which is home to the Nissan IMQ Virtual Personal Assistant. It controls vehicle functions such as navigation in response to input from the driver to enhance the driving experience even further.

The steering wheel is ergonomically designed putting the driver in a relaxed position while maximising the visibility of the instrument panel. Next generation “soft-touch” paddle shift functionality is also built into the back of the steering wheel.

The IMQ makes a bold statement in terms of the new direction of Nissan’s design language. It may seem futuristic but it still builds on the Nissan badge integrated into the V-motion grille albeit deliberately more subtle. At the back of the Nissan, IMQ Concept is a vertical line that drops from the cluster of lights to separate air as it passes along the side which greatly helps with aerodynamic performance.

If that’s not enough to get you revving, the Nissan IMQ Concept gets 22-inch alloy wheels with bespoke Bridgestone Connect tyres. Adding to the technological aspect, these “smart” tyres actually relay information to the driver through a graphical user interface. The transmitted data includes tyre load, tyre pressure, temperature, grip level, tyre wear, and overall tyre condition. This enables the IMQ to automatically calibrate its control systems for optimal performance.

Engine Specifications

While the Nissan IMQ Concept doesn’t have that much in common with existing Nissan models from a visual perspective, it could pass for a futuristic Rogue Sport from certain angles. Fact is, the IMQ’s e-POWER powertrain is actually a version of the unit already in the Note and Serena on the Japanese market.

In the Nissan IMQ Concept, two electric motors power the wheels while a 1.5-liter turbocharged petrol engine helps keep the battery pack charged. The electric motors send 250 kW and 700 Nm torque to all four wheels combining next-generation e-POWER and the AWD system.

Nissan has confirmed that the first models with the e-POWER system will be launched in Europe by 2022. They also believe that sales of electrified cars in Europe will increase five-fold but at this point, it is difficult to predict how much of the share will be e-POWER hybrids.

While electric cars certainly seem to be the future, it may be some time before they are prominent on South African roads. But until then, let’s enjoy reading about them and gawking at the stunning designs of cars like the futuristic Nissan IMQ electric concept SUV. Please read our blogs or follow us on Facebook for more up-to-date information on all the latest developments in the motoring world.


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