Carlos Ghosn may be having a lot of problems in Japan at the moment but for the companies he heads, it has to be ‘business as usual’. And though the media may be more interested in what’s happening to him, Nissan would rather divert attention to its future and has been showing off the IMs concept car this week. With its revolutionary new proportions and stretched interior space – including a unique ‘Premier Seat’ 2 + 1 + 2 seating architecture – the IMS is designed to create an entirely new vehicle segment, the elevated sports sedan.

The pure electric all-wheel drive concept car has full autonomous drive capability, transforming from an engaging driver’s car to a fully self-driving and allowing the driver to engage in conversation with passengers, catch up on work or just enjoy the numerous entertainment options.

“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. “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 cars”

“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 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 electric powertrain consists of dual electric motors (front and rear) which generate a total of 483 ps/800 Nm, with a 115-kWh battery pack providing an estimated range of around 600 kms on a full charge.

Nissan’s signature V-motion design language, which is incorporated throughout the 2019 Nissan model line-up, 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 sporty attitude.

In Autonomous Drive mode, the 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 colour, inspired by the Japanese kimono, enhance the IMs concept’s unique and beautiful sculptural form in a subtle way, with shifts in gradation.

Dominating the rear space is the innovative ‘Premier Seat’, an oversized centre seat that appears out of the three-across rear seat after the slim outboard positions are folded. The interior colour 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.”

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[Chips Yap]

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