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Nissan IMx concept previews the 2019 Leaf SUV

26th Oct 2017 8:00 am

Nissan has confirmed that it will launch the EV crossover sometime next year in international markets.

Nissan has unveiled the IMx all-electric concept SUV with autonomous capabilities at the Tokyo motor show. The Nissan Leaf-like SUV will preview a future all-electric crossover that is expected to go on sale in international markets in the near future. In terms of design, the IMx features styling taken from the new Leaf.

The concept at the motor show is powered by two electric motors with a combined output of 429hp and 700Nm of peak torque, sent to all-four-wheels. The IMx shares the new Leaf’s evolved EV architecture and has a battery pack that has been tweaked to deliver a range of nearly 600km.

Nissan has been quiet about its future EV plans, though Nissan's product planning chief, Philipe Klein, speaking to our sister publication Autocar UK in Tokyo, said, "We will enter into the crossover EV category and in a few years."

The Japanese manufacturer claims that the new EV architecture will revolutionise the SUV segment. The relatively high centre of gravity typically found in SUVs hampers its overall driving dynamics though the new platform enable the heavy battery pack to be mounted under the floor, lowering the centre of gravity and improving handling.

The IMx concept is also meant to display Nissan’s next-gen semi-autonomous Propilot system that has been adapted to offer fully autonomous driving. The steering wheel retracts into the dashboard when the Propilot system takes over, similar to what was seen on VW’s electric-autonomous ID concepts. All the seats also recline to improve passenger comfort in autonomous mode.

As with the Leaf, the Japanese carmaker’s aim for EVs to act as temporary energy storage solutions and return power to the grid when not in use is seen on the IMx as well.

Typical of a concept, the interiors are minimalistic with large amounts of light wood and a wide infotainment display and instrument panel that show the surroundings in the background.

The infotainment screens are monitored by artificial intelligence systems and can be controlled via gesturing and eye movements, making the cabin less cluttered.

Nissan had previously hinted that it will launch a range of EVs, suggesting that an international launch for the Leaf-like SUV could be just two years away.

Copyright (c) Autocar UK. All rights reserved.

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