The Nissan IMs, unveiled at the 2019 North American International Auto Show, is a completely new type of car – an “elevated sports sedan” that takes advantage of the packaging, platform and powertrain technology developed through Nissan Intelligent Mobility. While closer to a sedan than a crossover, the IMs concept’s revolutionary proportions create a vehicle segment all of its own. It is defined by its pure electric-vehicle identity, with the battery located under the body, elevating cabin height. Its stretched interior space, a result of the vehicle’s extended wheelbase, features unique “2+1+2” seating architecture with pivoting front seats and a rear seat that either offers three-across seating, or, once the slim rear outboard seats are folded, an indulgent “Premier Seat” in the rear center, worthy of world-class executive travel.
“Advances in electric vehicle technology and autonomous driving have allowed our designers to break free of the platform and packaging rules that constrain traditional passenger vehicles, to create a completely new type of car,” said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president for design at Nissan. “The IMs explores the limits of sedan design with an approach that elevates the category in both look and functionality”. The powerful exterior and interior design of the IMs is made possible by the innovative electric and autonomous technology developed through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s vision for changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society.
The IMs exterior form is characterized by simple horizontal and vertical lines rather than sculpted surfaces. It forgoes Nissan’s signature “floating roof” theme to take advantage of the new body proportions’ forward A-pillar and extended C-pillar locations. The sleek shape isn’t just sporty; it also results in a low drag coefficient. Additionally, various body panels, including the fenders, front spoiler, rocker panels and a full-length undertray, provide effective downforce and minimal lift at high speeds. The roofline was inspired by the shape of the moon, with the gold-colored anodized brushed aluminum roof rail accents suggesting the ring of moonlight created by an eclipse. The vehicle’s unique proportions – defined by its long wheelbase and waistline, cabin-forward A-pillars and sloped rear-window angle – give the vehicle a pure, simple silhouette.
“We looked at Nissan’s heritage and realized that some of our most successful models, such as the first-generation Murano and our Z cars, all had very simple silhouettes,” said Albaisa. “With simplicity of design, the perceived quality is also naturally improved”. Nissan’s signature V-motion design language, incorporated throughout the 2019 Nissan model lineup, is emphasized on the IMs’ grille-less front fascia through the shape and placement of the headlamps. he interior of the IMs represents a new way of visualizing how commuters will travel in an autonomously driven world. To help express the cabin’s spaciousness, the designers created a visual separation of the body and greenhouse. Putting a priority on the vehicle’s interior space, all powertrain components have been tucked away under the cabin floor. “With the raised, flat-bottom platform and absence of interior restrictions, there’s a sense of almost levitating, as if you’re riding on a magic carpet,” said Albaisa.