Back in March, Nissan joined an ever growing list of manufacturers showing off new or concept versions of an electric crossover. Nissan’s unveiling was at the prestigious Geneva International Motor Show.
The IMq is the latest in a series of “IM” concepts and this one uses an evolution of the electric power system first seen in the Nissan Note and Serena models and the press release was a little misleading – presumably because they thought that readers would get bored quickly, so they left some pertinent and contradictory information until the end! At the start Nissan describes their Intelligent Mobility platform (the IM in IMq) and states that it is powered by “the next generation of e-POWER, a 100% electric motor drive system that delivers instant, linear acceleration” and that “it delivers a total output of 250 kilowatts and 700 Nm of torque”. Power is delivered via a multi-motor system, now at this point, the reader would consider this to be like other manufacturers systems where there is an electric motor at each end of the vehicle – one per axle. However, when you get to the bottom of the press release, the reader finds out that it is not 100% electric at all, rather it also has a 1.5 litre petrol powered internal combustion engine meaning it is a hybrid power system!
Visually, the car has some design features that look like they were copied from Jaguar Land Rover with their i-Pace and Evoque cars and the design has that typical angular Japanese theme throughout which must come from their samurai heritage. The front is blunt and doesn’t look hugely aerodynamic and it rides on 22-inch wheels fitted with Bridgestone Connect intelligent tyres. These tyres are constantly providing data back to the management system for on-the-fly adjustments of the systems and allows the driver to see what is going on.
As this is a concept, it is crammed with technology, some of which also contradicts itself. For example, the tyre system delivers data to the dashboard and the vehicle uses Nissan’s Invisible-to-Visible (I2V) system that creates a virtual world around the car using onboard sensors and takes data from external sources. To add to this, the concept also uses Nissan’s ProPilot autonomous driving system. If the driver can’t be bothered to control the vehicle, then all the other systems are fairly redundant as far as the driver is concerned! Even the press release says that the interior is focused on the driver giving the impression that it should be controlled by a human, so the messaging is a little mixed!
A lot of the technology included in this concept will take many years to come to market once the issue of legal responsibility is decided. Here at Motoring Weekly we are waiting for the start of litigation after an accident where a “driver” sues a manufacturer because they put their faith in a system that wasn’t quite ready for the marketplace.
Nissan says that the design language “hints” at next generation crossovers from the company. That’s what concepts are for and why they are shown off at major motor shows – it is to gauge the reaction of the press and public. If bits of it are liked or are found to be industry themes, then they will appear on later cars. Nissan has several crossovers that could utilise the design language and/or drivetrain features, so we’re sure that the market will see the IMq in some form in the future with a different name.
Image sources: Nissan and CNET.