Nissan Release a Concept for the Future

Nissan have set out to start a whole new vehicle segment

Nissan claims to have invented a whole new vehicle segment with its IMs concept: the "elevated sports sedan".

We're not so sure. Isn't a passenger car with extra ride just what we call a crossover/SUV these days?

Anyway, IMs still showcases some pretty innovative stuff: it's a pure-electric all-wheel drive with full autonomous capability, while the cabin features a unique "Premier Seat" 2+1+2 seating layout.

The IMs made its first public appearance last month at the Detroit Auto Show.

"This bold Nissan IMs concept represents the birth of an entirely new segment of vehicle – an elevated, electrified sports sedan," says Denis Le Vot, senior vice president, chairman of management committee, Nissan North America.

"It makes sense that the first automaker to bring the world a mass-market EV would bring you the future of the electric high-performance sports sedan."

The concept's powertrain has a high-performance AWD system powered by a pair of electric motors located at the front and rear of the vehicle. Air suspension is fitted all-round.

The 115kWh battery provides an estimated range of 600km on a single charge.

In Autonomous Drive mode, the IMs concept's headlights and rear combination light turn blue and the lighting travels continuously from front-to-rear to notify pedestrians and other drivers of its autonomous status.

The exterior also features holographic rear tail lamps and a pillarless four-door body structure with reverse-opening rear doors.

A traditional Japanese Asanoha geometric graphic pattern has been applied in gold over the IMs concept's smoked glass roof surface. The pattern is used throughout the vehicle, including on the wheels and inside the cabin.

The exterior is finished with a special "liquid metal" paint.

The IMs concept's interior represents one idea of how future commuters will travel in an autonomously driven world. Putting a priority on the vehicle's interior space, all powertrain components have been tucked completely away underneath the cabin floor.

In manual driving mode, the IMs concept's interior becomes a driver-centric cockpit with advanced driver-assistance technology and multi-level information displays.

In Autonomous Drive mode, the IMs concept can transform from an engaging driver's car to a fully autonomous vehicle, allowing the driver to engage in conversation with passengers, catch up on work or just enjoy the numerous entertainment options.

Dominating the rear space is the Premier Seat, an oversized centre chair that appears out of the three-across rear seat after the slim outboard positions are folded.

Gold details are found throughout the interior, providing elements of light to the interior in the same fashion as Japanese paper door screens provide light for traditional Japanese tatami rooms.

Nissan plans to launch an additional seven electric vehicles by 2022 - although probably nothing as radical as the IMs.