Japanese automaker Nissan has unveiled the IMk, a concept car that combines chic design, cutting-edge technologies and powerful EV acceleration in a compact body to create the “ultimate urban commuter.” The 100% electric car hints at the new direction of Nissan’s design language and how it helps bring to life Nissan Intelligent Mobility – the brand’s vision for changing how vehicles are powered, driven and connected to society.
Immersed in this vision, Nissan designers and engineers looked at a vehicle segment that’s prevalent in their native Japan and becoming more so the world over – the city car. To meet customer demands for nimble driving characteristics and connectivity that fits a wide range of needs and lifestyles, Nissan set out to create a city runner that would stand apart from any other car in the segment.
The result is the IMk concept. More than a strictly functional city car, it’s a chic vehicle that reduces driver stress while offering excitement and confidence on an all-new EV platform. Equipped with the latest ProPILOT advanced driver assistance technologies and seamless connectivity features, the IMk provides a glimpse of how urban-oriented cars may look and feel in the near future.
The IMk’s looks and proportions reflect a minimal aesthetic, drawing on Nissan’s new design philosophy, called Timeless Japanese Futurism. Adopting the simplistic nature of traditional Japanese design, the exterior is characterized by flowing lines. Carefully applied Japanese motifs add refinement and intrigue. Dipped in an Akagane paint scheme – reflecting a reddish copper color – the concept pays homage to artisans who formed copper into functional works of art.
A close look reveals additional elements of “Japanese DNA” throughout the IMk. The V- motion signature “shield” and combination taillights feature a trellised, woodwork-type impression.
The Nissan IMk concept’s cabin is a new type of “room” that exudes the nature of a cafe or lounge. The bench-style seat, with a dimpled texture, promotes a relaxing, welcome space that gives the impression of sitting on a floating cloud. The dashboard and sections of the doors are upholstered with light tonal materials, adding to the cozy atmosphere. Akagane- colored accents along the instrument panel, doors and steering wheel add brightness to the interior and a premium feel to the vehicle as a whole.
Interlocking with the lower door section are wood slats that are a nod to the Japanese wood joinery technique of kigumi, which create a sense of inner calm. This feature is highlighted by special hidden lighting. Dark coffee-colored floor carpeting with woven strands of metallic fiber enhance the cozy, relaxing setting.
Other than the start button and shifter, the IMk’s thin dashboard is void of physical controls. Powering up the IMk reveals cabin comfort controls and settings with soft glowing icons within the Akagane trim.
Important driving information, such as vehicle speed and navigation directions, appear in “midair” by way of a bezel-less prism display. Customized information is communicated to the driver via holographic displays. Interior accent lighting mimics the prism display’s color scheme, depending on displayed content. When using the touch-sensitive surface – for example, when swiping while viewing a map – a touch of whimsy is displayed in the form of a flock of birds flying across it. A careful eye will even notice a faint bird pattern across the prism, hinting at how this display can come to life. This is just one way the IMk provides a level of interactivity and personalization, adding excitement to the driving experience.
The Nissan IMk concept represents another step toward fully autonomous driving. It comes with the latest technologies to assist drivers in a wide range of environments, from expressways to city streets and parking lots. The smartphone-enabled ProPILOT Remote Park feature with valet parking feature can search for a parking space automatically after you and your passengers step out of the car. When you’re ready to hit the road again, a simple tap of a button brings the car to you.
Among the other notable functions is the latest driver assistance technology, built off an advanced version of ProPILOT 2.0, which helps make driving safer, more pleasant and enjoyable for drivers by combining navigated highway driving with hands-off single-lane driving capabilities.
The concept car’s extremely quiet operation and low center of gravity gives urban commuters a smooth and powerful driving experience. The electric motor delivers excellent acceleration and a high level of responsiveness that’s effective in stop-and-go traffic and even on steep slopes.
Just as popular cafes and lounges offer free Wi-Fi to keep customers connected, the IMk keeps occupants constantly and seamlessly plugged in with the latest connectivity technology. A driver can link to the car with a smartphone to authenticate their identity, automatically apply personal settings – such as seat position, interior lighting and climate controls – and plan their commute.
Before leaving on a trip, the IMk informs the driver of the best departure time via smartphone, taking into consideration variables such as traffic congestion. After arriving and valet parking itself, the vehicle can seamlessly integrate with a home energy system and use spare battery capacity to balance home energy needs, using Nissan Energy Share (Vehicle-to-Home).