Nissan Xmotion Merges Powerful Design with Japanese Culture – Detroit Auto Show Star

By Steve & Tamami Laser

Nissan offers a wide array of crossovers in the U.S. including the Kicks, Juke, Rogue Sport, Rogue, Murano and Pathfinder. Yet there might be room for one more.

Unveiled this week at the Detroit Auto Show, Nissan calls the new Xmotion (pronounced “cross-motion”) concept “a design exploration for another potentially groundbreaking compact SUV.”

Xmotion features a rugged and modern appearance that brings to mind traditional SUVs like the departed Nissan Xterra or current Armada. Up front is a more powerful interpretation of Nissan’s V-motion grille that made its debut on the third-generation Murano flanked by boomerang-style headlights.

This video takes a closer look at the design concept for the new Nissan Xmotion revealed at the Detroit Auto Show. (video: Nissan)

Nissan says the design team for Xmotion was inspired by the Japanese sense of aesthetics, architecture, traditional crafts and landscapes. They studied at craft museums and visited master woodworkers and carpenters who build shrines and temples.

Xmotion design details include taillights inspired by traditional Japanese woodwork known as “kumiko.” Yet the lighting structure that employs hologram technology is an optical illusion. Another interesting detail is the all-terrain tires developed with Michelin that feature tire tread laminated over the 21-inch wheels.

See Xmotion unveiled at the Nissan press conference in Detroit. “This dynamic crossover, with advanced autonomous drive capabilities, represents the start of a new era for Nissan,” said José Muñoz, Chief Performance Officer for Nissan Motor Co., and Chairman, Nissan North America. “In fact, it provides a blueprint for what you can expect from our forthcoming C-SUV lineup, and from future Nissan Intelligent Mobility-enabled products.” (video: Nissan)

Clamshell-style doors open to reveal a 4+2 (three rows of individual seats) interior influenced by Japanese design. Nissan says the cabin was created with the imagery of a river on the floor, with the center console acting as a bridge.

The console is built with “kanawa tsugi” traditional Japanese wood joining technique (assembled without nails or glue) that can be found in temples and shrines. Nissan used genuine wood overlays from a single tree (to respect resource efficiency) from Yamagata Prefecture.

“The center console symbolizes a wooden bridge connecting two cultures but also bridging timeless tradition with tomorrow’s technology,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President for Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Global Design. “The instrument panel is made of Japanese cedar, giving a modern interpretation to centuries old aesthetics.”

Xmotion blends traditional artistic touches with cutting-edge technology. The interior has seven digital screens with five in the instrument panel, a “digital room mirror” in the headliner plus one in the center console. Gesture and eye movements control the displays and entertainment center along with voice commands.

A virtual personal assistant that looks like a Japanese koi appears on the center console (above) and then jumps to the main screen. When using the autonomous drive mode Nissan says the assistant can act as a storyteller and offer point of interest details along the route. (We wish the personal assistant could tell us what’s under the hood of the Xmotion yet Nissan is being coy about that for now.)

Headrests inspired by kumiko design provide support while the see-through style contributes to cabin ambience for rear seat passengers. Printed and laser-embossed suede is used in the cabin along with Nishijin-weave carbon fiber accents from the textile district in Japan where kinonos and tapestries are created. A “floating commander” on the console features a sensor that scans the hand of a passenger to control the entertainment and climate systems.

News source, photos and videos courtesy Nissan North America, Inc., and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Story © 2018