By Steve & Tamami Laser; with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan
Today (tomorrow in Japan) Nissan has pulled the wraps off its 2019 Tokyo Motor Show lineup. Ready to make its debut at the show is the new IMk Concept, an all-electric vehicle billed as the “ultimate urban commuter.”
Nissan says that with its high-tech features and powerful EV acceleration in a compact body, the new IMk signals the future of Nissan design.
While it rides on an all-new EV platform, the overall length (3,434mm), width (1,512mm) and height (1,644mm) of the concept puts it into Kei car (mini-vehicle) territory. Yet this concept is unlike anything Nissan offers in that class.
“The IMk fuses a modern, clean look, driven by its Japanese heritage, with cutting-edge EV technology,“ says Satoru Tai (above), executive design director at Nissan. “As a small EV for a new era, the Nissan IMk is designed to be at home in sophisticated cityscapes as much as traditional Japanese towns. It’s a small EV that I hope a lot of customers are going to drive.”
This video, from the Nissan Global YouTube channel, offers a closer look at the new IMk Concept. (video: Nissan)
Does that mean that Nissan plans to put something like the concept into production? We’ll have to wait and see what they say at the show. In the meantime, we can imagine this running around the streets of Tokyo or the narrow alleys in Kyoto. The concept’s reddish-copper exterior, called Akagane, is said to pay homage to artisans who turn copper into functional artworks.
“We incorporated ‘Japanese DNA’ into the design of the IMk,” says Tai. “For example, the bumper, wheels, tires, windows, tail lamps, roof and high mount spoiler treatment borrow from the flowing patterns of mizuhiki, a thin twine made of Japanese rice paper. The shield, which replaces the grille in gasoline-powered vehicles, represents a new signature element in our design language.”
The futuristic cabin, described as a “room” or café-like lounge, presents a high-tech look and feel creating a “chic and elegant space.” The dash and door panels are dressed with light tonal materials while Akagane accents add brightness to the instrument panel, doors, and steering wheel.
There’s a start button and shifter, yet the thin dash lacks other physical controls. Nissan says that important driving information appear in “midair” via a bezel-less prism display. And when using the touch-sensitive surface, like while viewing a map, “a touch of whimsy is displayed in the form of a flock of birds flying over it.”
Of course, the IMk is brimming with Nissan’s latest technologies, including driver-assistance features built from ProPILOT 2.0. Nissan says that smartphone-enabled ProPILOT Remote Park with valet parking can search for a parking spot while the driver and passengers “step out of the car” and later on, “a simple tap of a button brings the car to you.”
Using the smartphone, the driver can talk to the IMk and apply personal settings for things like seat position, climate controls, and interior lighting. While driving, Nissan’s Invisible-to-Visible (I2V) Technology can track the vehicle’s surroundings and anticipate what’s ahead. After arriving home, and parking itself, IMk can integrate with a home energy system and use spare battery capacity to balance home energy needs, using Nissan Energy Share (Vehicle-to-Home).
In addition to the IMk Concept, Nissan plans to display 14 vehicles at the show including Japanese-market versions of the Leaf e+, Serena e-Power, GT-R, and new Skyline.
The 46th Tokyo Motor Show will take place at Tokyo Big Sight with the public days scheduled for Oct. 25 to Nov. 4.
For more show information visit the Tokyo Motor Show website
Note: The Nissan IMk is a concept vehicle and is not for sale
News source, photos and video courtesy Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Story (intro and commentary) © 2019 CarNichiWa.com