"This bold Nissan IMs concept represents the birth of an entirely new segment of vehicle – an elevated, electrified sports sedan," said Denis Le Vot, senior vice president, chairman of Management Committee, Nissan North America, Inc., during a press conference revealing the IMs concept. "It makes sense that the first automaker to bring the world a mass-market EV would bring you the future of the electric high-performance sports sedan."
Le Vot also announced that following last week's debut of the longer range 2019 Nissan LEAF e+ at the Consumer Electronics Show, Nissan will launch an additional seven electric vehicles by 2022.
The IMs concept's uniquely powerful exterior and interior designs are made possible by the innovative electric and autonomous technology that embodies Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company's vision for changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society.
"Fully embracing the three pillars of Nissan Intelligent Mobility – Intelligent Driving, Intelligent Power and Intelligent Integration – the IMs concept moves toward the creation of a sustainable mobile society in the form of EVs, autonomous drive and connectivity technologies," said Le Vot.
The concept's powertrain utilizes a high-performance all-wheel-drive (AWD) system powered by a pair of electric motors located at the front and rear of the vehicle. The result is an ideal front/rear weight balance, exceptional traction over slick driving surfaces and excellent cornering performance. Thanks to an advanced air suspension that adapts to different driving situations, the IMs concept possesses a silky, smooth ride quality and flat cornering character.
The vehicle's electric powertrain consists of dual electric motors (front and rear) generates 483 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque and a 115-kWh battery provides an estimated range of 380 miles on a single charge.
The IMs concept's standout exterior transforms the styling of a traditional sedan into a vehicle with provocative proportions, sporty character and excellent aerodynamics. Unique to Nissan, it also seamlessly marries futuristic high-tech qualities with timeless Japanese accents.
Nissan's signature V-motion design language, which is incorporated throughout the 2019 Nissan model lineup, is emphasized on the IMs concept's grille-less front fascia through the shape and placement of the headlamps. The bold, thin V-shaped lighting design is both prominent and practical, giving the entire vehicle a futuristic yet distinctively Nissan look, while aggressive 22-inch wheels add to the vehicle's sporty attitude.
In Autonomous Drive mode, the IMs concept's headlights and rear combination light turn blue and the lighting travels continuously from front-to-rear to notify pedestrians and other drivers of its autonomous status.
The exterior also features holographic rear tail lamps and a B-pillar-less 4-door body structure with reverse-opening rear doors for easy interior access. To emphasize its Japanese character, a traditional Japanese Asanoha geometric graphic pattern has been applied in gold over the IMs concept's smoked glass roof surface. The pattern is used throughout the vehicle, including on the wheels and inside the cabin.
The exterior is finished with a special "liquid metal" paint that is meant to suggest an imaginary mineral on the moon. The qualities of this color, inspired by the Japanese kimono, enhance the IMs concept's unique and beautiful sculptural form in a subtle way, with shifts in gradation.
The IMs concept's interior represents an entirely new way of visualizing how future commuters will travel in an autonomously driven world. Putting a priority on the vehicle's interior space, all powertrain components have been tucked completely away underneath the cabin floor.
In manual driving mode, the IMs concept's interior becomes a driver-centric cockpit with advanced driver-assistance technology and multi-level information displays, giving full vehicle control to the driver.
In autonomous drive mode, the IMs concept can transform from an engaging driver's car to a fully autonomous vehicle, allowing the driver to engage in conversation with passengers, catch up on work or just enjoy the numerous entertainment options.
Nissan IMs concept "Premier Seat"
Dominating the rear space is the innovative "Premier Seat," an oversized center seat that appears out of the three-across rear seat after the slim outboard positions are folded. The interior color treatment utilizes darker materials in contrast to the lighter, simpler exterior. Gold details are found throughout the interior, providing elements of light to the interior in the same fashion as Japanese paper door screens provide light for traditional Japanese tatami rooms.
"This IMs concept is the latest example of how we envision the future of mobility as we head toward our goal of zero emissions and zero fatalities on the road. It is an advanced study in progressive proportions, which has resulted in a completely new type of elevated sports sedan" said Le Vot. "Combining a sleek and sexy exterior with a warm cavernous cabin, the IMs concept offers a fresh kind of driving experience, manually, autonomously and virtually."