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Take a tour of Nissan’s wild new IMQ concept crossover

Nissan IMQ
Image credit: Rob Clymo

Nissan has unveiled a brand new concept vehicle, the IMQ, at the high-profile Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. The Japanese car manufacturer is using the vehicle to showcase the latest innovations that fall under its Nissan Intelligent Mobility umbrella. The wild design underlines what Nissan thinks is going to be the future of automotive transportation, which centres on a crossover arrangement that could feature an all-wheel-drive e-Power system.

The company says that the vehicle would boast a 100% electric motor – though apparently supplemented by a 1.5-liter petrol engine that charges the battery - with a drive system that would be able to provide plenty of instant and silky smooth acceleration. In essence, the Japanese innovator sees it has a natural progression from the e-Power technology that has been used to great effect in the likes of Nissan’s popular Note and Serena models back in Japan. 

Image credit: Rob Clymo

Total output for this model, however, would be 250kW and 700Nm of torque, so those beefy looks could be backed up by performance to match. The IMQ will feature an all-wheel-drive setup and a multi-motor system that would be able to deliver a perfectly linear supply of energy to each wheel.

And, while the crossover would doubtless be popular with people pootling and posing around town, it’s going to have a cocktail of power-meets-grip that’ll make it ideal for challenging conditions in locations like Switzerland when it’s snowy.

Invisible-to-Visible

The IMQ also promises to keep tech fans happy too, and it’ll boast an advanced prototype version of Nissan’s already familiar ProPilot in-car innovation. The system provides comprehensive driving assistance, along with autonomous options too. Adding a touch more excitement to proceedings is the additional inclusion of Nissan’s Invisible-to-Visible (I2V) technology, which we got to take a look at and try out at CES earlier in the year. 

Meanwhile, the exterior styling of the IMQ shows plenty of quirkiness, from its V-motion grille at the front, on past some radical body curves through to the boomerang light cluster at the tail end.

There are also chunky 22-inch alloy wheels that feature ‘smart’ tires from Bridgestone. The Connect rubber supposedly informs the driver of tire load, pressure temperature and the amount of grip being provided. All in all, you get an ongoing health check on how you’re making contact with the road surface.

There are other typically concept features too, with one of the highlights being those doors. The IMQ has access via doors that are hinged at their outer edges. That means you get a huge access opening that highlights just how accommodating the futuristic interior is. At the front there’s a ‘gliding wing’ instrument panel followed by a centre console and, around it, four deliciously sculpted seats.

Image credit: Rob Clymo

Image credit: Rob Clymo

Meanwhile, a screen within the instrument panel displays information relating to the e-Power system, while this is augmented by another screen above the centre console. This is home to the IMQ’s virtual personal assistant, which aids you on journeys with satellite navigation and so on.

The futuristic look is topped off with a quirky steering wheel and ‘soft-touch’ paddle shifting functionality. Nissan wants to do much more with its aforementioned Invisible-to-Visible technology in the future, so the car could be the ideal platform for that. The thinking behind the technology is that it will allow people to get information dynamically about anything and everything, both inside the vehicle and outside it too, and all as you drive along.

Solving inner-city snarls

On a practical note, the system could be used to help drivers manage their route more efficiently, with Invisible-to-Visible helping you find available parking spaces, dodge traffic snarl ups and even, suggests Nissan, see around blind corners. While the idea is clearly a work in progress, we liked what we saw of it at CES and, if it can be suitably tweaked and fine-tuned then I2V could prove to be a really useful addition to everyday motoring. Anything that pinpoints the ever-elusive parking space in a multi-story car park has got to be good news, right?

Image credit: Rob Clymo

Image credit: Rob Clymo

“The IMQ’s design combines traditional and modern Japanese influences and shows what’s possible when future crossovers are powered by Nissan Intelligent Mobility,” said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president for design at Nissan. “With the IMQ, the interior and exterior are seamlessly blended together, signalling what our design direction may be for Nissan’s third generation of crossovers in Europe.” 

Nissan also used the Geneva show to unveil a brace of new model variants of its popular electric Leaf saloon. The company is adding two new range options, the 40kW and e+ 62kW and has boosted its dedicated EV app to help owners squeeze that little bit more out of the top-selling electric car.