Nissan unveiled their IMq concept at this years Geneva motor show earlier this month. The car has been designed to visually embody the next generation of Nissan crossovers, in particular the segment leading Qashqai, introducing electric propulsion to the model in the form of Nissan’s e-Power hybrid technology.
Designed by a small team in Nissan’s London design centre, the final design was selected from a number of entries from studios around the world. The car currently stands at 4.5m-long but will be toned down for production. Styling includes strong, sharp lines, a Range Rover style slim glasshouse and suicide doors which lead into a spacious interior for four.
The IMq sports an evolution of the signature V-motion grille, where behind it sits a range extending EV powertrain that puts out 335bhp. The dual-electric-motor all- wheel drive system delivers 516lb ft of torque and pairs up to a 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine.
Designers say that the car has been designed around the theme of ‘May’, which is a Japanese expression of minimalism. It’s clear to see this throughout the interior with four free-standing one-piece seats and panoramic glass roof.
In a Q&A with Autocar and Matthew Weaver, design director for Nissan Europe, the following was said:
“The original Qashqai was about doing something new but enveloping it in something recognisable. Here we are pushing the envelope again, which we need to do with so much similar competition. We have tried to reinvent the cues of the crossover.”
Did you have pushback from bosses to make it more conventional-looking?
“Not at all – quite the opposite. Working under Alfonso [Albaisa, senior vice-president of design] is great. When I think I’m pushing it in design terms, he comes and says: 'Have we pushed it far enough?'”
Will this be another concept that looks nothing like the production car?
“In my experience, package and proportion-wise, this is a very realistic proposition for production. We can easily translate this sort of design for production. The grille and headlamp shapes will be familiar.”