Nissan imagines its future with IMs concept EV
The Nissan IMs concept, with its revolutionary new proportions and stretched interior space – including a unique “Premier Seat” 2 + 1 + 2 seating architecture – is designed to create an entirely new vehicle segment, the elevated sports sedan
Fresh off its CES LEAF 62kWh unveil, Nissan today at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit took the wraps off its IMS concept car based heavily on its similarly named IMx concept. Have Nissan reached Concept-ception?
Making a world debut at the 2019 North American International Auto Show is the Nissan IMs EV concept, an electric sedan whose back seat has an uplifted “premier seat” in what Nissan calls a “2+1+2-seat” architecture. It’s the new “elevated sports sedan” segment envisioned by Nissan designers.
The Nissan IMs EV is an all-wheel drive, battery-electric, autonomous-drive sedan. It enters the 2019 Detroit show as a showcase of the Japanese automaker’s plans for electrification going forward. Nissan hopes to build on the world’s first mass-market EV, the LEAF, with a series of new electric vehicles based on concepts like the IMs EV Sports Sedan. The company plans an additional seven new electric vehicle launches by 2022.
The IMs EV’s powertrain is an AWD system powered by two electric motors located fore and aft. This creates a weight balance front to rear, Nissan says, which will help provide exceptional traction over slick surfaces in concert with the electric car’s low center of gravity. An advanced air suspension in the IMs (Intelligent Mobility sedan) adapts to varied driving conditions for a comfortable, smooth ride.
Those dual electric motors in the IMs EV produce 483 horsepower (360 kW) of output and 590 pound-feet (800 Nm) of instant torque. A 115-kWh battery pack powers the whole thing, giving it an estimated range of 380 miles (611.5 km) per charge.
The Nissan IMs EV Sports Sedan concept is very Nissan, carrying the company’s V-motion language along its flat-faced, grille-less fascia thanks to the angled placement of the car’s headlamps. The thin lighting design is mirrored with interior lighting accents along the seat edges for ambient glow and in the concept’s tail lamps, which are similarly shaped. The bodywork on the concept is smooth and futuristic, with precise edges and definitely aerodynamic flow. Large 22-inch wheels are the only truly sport aspects about the IMs EV concept’s exterior look.
Until the doors are opened, that is. Once open, we see that there is a middle pillar delete with the rear doors opening suicide fashion to the rear. This creates a large opening for easy access to either row of seating in the Nissan IMs EV concept.
The lighting on the concept is important to its character and carries on with something seen in Nissan vehicles of the past. The lights change color to indicate whether the vehicle is in autonomous driving mode or being manually operated. Those lights pulse blue front-to-rear, to indicate autonomous status.
Looking inside, the driver’s controls and front seating arrangements are standard fare, though hyper-futuristic in their look. The steering wheel is a square instead of a circle, of course, and the minimalized dashboard and instrument cluster relies heavily on output screens and thin-form LCD for its displays. A moulded interior design creates the center console between the driver and front passenger.
At the rear, though, is where Nissan’s new “2+1+2” seating arrangement makes things interesting. When all of the seat backs are up, the rear seating is in a standard three-across bench. When the outboard seats have their backs folded down flat, however, the center position is revealed to be wider and it lifts slightly to become a more executive-style seat, complete with lower thigh rest. This Premier Seat, as Nissan calls it, puts its occupant in a lordly position compared to the other seats in the concept.
The Nissan IMs Sports Sedan concept is an interesting look at where mobility could go in the near future. Although not slated for production, the concept does give an idea of the direction Nissan’s designers are headed when it comes to electric models … including how it will change the automotive landscape.