► New Nissan concept promises 400bhp+ and near 400-mile-range
► It's fully autonomous and sits on a new Alliance EV platform
► One of 12 new EVs to hit the market by 2022
The IMx concept is said to represent the 'three brand pillars' that represent Nissan Intelligent Mobility. But behind this newspeak, there's a genuine desire at Nissan to push electrification and autonomy, and the IMx is the visualisation of this plan.
It's unlikely to reach production in anything like this form, but this does signal an intent to massively expand it's EV range. Hinting at an SUV sister car to the Leaf, there are some bold numbers attached to the IMx.
Nissan says it develops more than 400bhp, and has a range of approaching 400 miles. Measuring almost 4.7m long, it's a C- to D-segment SUV. When asked if this car was going to be the next Juke or Qashqai, Nissan's design director Alfonso Albaisa replied with a firm 'no'.
Instead, it's likely at least until the mid-2020s, Nissan's EV strategy will be separate from its ICE model line-up – after that point in time, the convergence is likely to happen.
Less of that, what's under the IMx's sexy skin?
It sits on a bespoke EV platform and is powered by an uprated high-power battery that runs a pair of electric motors, mounted on each axle. The numbers are impressive – 429bhp and 516lb ft, although as a motor show concept that Alfonso Albaisa says drives ‘pretty rough’, there are no performance figures quoted.
Inside, it’s packed with tech. A steering wheel that folds away when autonomous drive is selected, and a 180-degree OLED screen that replaces the traditional dashboard. This is mounted at the base of the windscreen and augments the view into the road, with further information.
It has an uprated version of the Propilot system recently launched on the Nissan Leaf, which allows for driverless autonomy – so, you can drop it off, and Nissan says it will park itself.
It can find parking bays with induction pads to charge itself up while you’re away, and it will even (they say) push power back into the grid in order to reduce electricity bills.
Does this signal a renewed attack on the EV market from Nissan?
You bet. Takao Asami, Senior Vice President of Nissan Research and Advanced Engineering told us that this car was the most significant reveal at the motor show – interesting as it was also the debut show for the Leaf.
Nissan has made huge investment into its EV development program, and by 2022, it will have a family of 12 EVs on sale, based on an all-new flexible platform. Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn announced in September 2017 that not only would there be a dozen new EVs, but a 'robo-vehicle ride-hailing service.'