The North American International Auto Show was host to the unveiling of the Nissan Xmotion concept SUV (pronounced “cross-motion”). Nissan, once again, walked away with the prestigious “Innovative Use of Color, Graphics or Materials” award. It’s the second consecutive time they won this award following in the footsteps of the Vmotion 2.0 concept.
Bearing some resemblance to a hybrid between a Jeep Cherokee and Lexus crossover, the Nissan Xmotion certainly combines style with technology, particularly the Japanese wood joinery or ‘Kigumi’. The Xmotion concept combines Japanese culture and traditional craftsmanship passed down from generation to generation with American-style utility and Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology.
Looks Matter With Nissan Xmotion Concept
Judging a book by its cover doesn’t quite cut it here as the Nissan Xmotion simply looks magnificent all-round and one cannot help but stare. Some may argue it’s too outlandish but it is a concept, after all, and who really knows what the motoring future holds.
The rugged, metal-crafted 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and all-terrain tire design certainly stand out but there is more. A retractable “rooftop box” sits on top while Japanese woodwork inspired the unique tail light design.
A long wheelbase, with wheels and tires pushed to the extremes, allows for a comfortable six-seat layout, three rows of side-by-side individual seats. The side panels are smooth and slightly curved with only the seam between the doors which open in opposite directions without the traditional pillar.
Even the colours were carefully considered to combine tradition and modernism. A special shade of silver was created to resemble pewter, a very solid and malleable metal traditionally used in Japan for detailed craft work. The colours truly showcase the various body shapes and contours which also resonates well with the interior.
Inside the Nissan Xmotion
The interior of the Nissan Xmotion concept honours Nissan’s roots by symbolizing a Japanese landscape. Interior colours represent Japan with red adding brightness, strength and energy; white means purity and simplicity while black symbolizes modern technology.
At the core, the console uses a traditional Japanese architectural wood joinery technique, “Kanawa Tsugi.” Known for its strength and durability, this technique was used to build religious temples and shrines without using a single nail or glue.
Nissan does well to incorporate advanced graphic interfaces with the traditional Japanese craftsmanship. Inside there are three main displays, left- and right screens that span the width of the instrument panel and one on the centre console. A “digital room mirror” on the roof replaces the traditional rearview mirror.
Along with climate control and the infotainment system, all displays can be controlled using gestures and eye movements. Drivers can solely focus on the road as intuitive controls and a voice command system allow for smart, safe and easy access to various information. They’ve also used their semi-autonomous driving technology, ProPilot, that debuted on several 2018 models, including the second generation Nissan Leaf.
Nissan XMotion is an interesting concept and could well be what the brand envisions for the future. It rings even more true especially as they plan to go completely autonomous by 2022. If they do produce a production version, we could see a hybrid, plug-in or even a pure battery-electric option.