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Geneva show: Nissan IMQ concept uncovered

E-Power confirmed for European debut within two years, Aussie arrival still unclear

6 Mar 2019

NISSAN has ripped the covers off its IMQ concept at this year’s Geneva motor show, signalling its intent to bring e-Power hybrid powertrains to global markets outside Japan including, one day, Australia.
Underpinned by a next-generation hybrid e-Power powertrain that combines a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine with an electric motor, the IMQ concept develops 250kW of power and 700Nm of torque, which is channelled to the road via a newly-developed multi-mode all-wheel-drive system.
Nissan is yet to disclose performance figures such as the zero to 100km/h sprint time, nor has the Japanese brand revealed fuel economy and emissions figures.
The brand’s current-generation of e-Power vehicles includes the Note and Serena, of which more than 70 and 50 per cent of sales, respectively, are in the electrified powertrain.
Both aforementioned models use 1.2-litre petrol engine to charge an electric motor that drives the wheels, but unlike the similar range-extender set-up found in the BMW i3, the Nissan models have no plug-in option.
Speaking at the Geneva motor show, Nissan corporate vice-president Roel de Vries stopped short of confirming which e-Power model will make its way to Europe, but confirmed it will arrive before 2022.
“With e-Power arriving on European roads within the next two years, we will bring the benefits of Nissan Intelligent Mobility to more customers and keep moving people to a better world.”
Nissan Australia has made it clear that e-Power vehicles will eventually make their way Down Under, but whether that coincides with the powertrain’s European debut is still unclear.
Measuring 4558mm long, 1940mm wide and 1560mm tall, the IMQ concept slots in between the Qashqai small crossover and X-Trial mid-size SUV in length, but the showcar is both wider and lower than its stablemates.
Nissan says the IMQ’s size “place it at the centre of the European C-crossover segment”, which could mean the concept might foreshadow the replacement to the long-running Qashqai.
From the outside, the IMQ concept sports boxy SUV proportions with a high ride height, black wheelarch cladding and short overhangs, but the metal work features sharp edges and angles for a futuristic aesthetic.
The front end is dominated by a large fascia, illuminating Nissan badge, new interpretation of the brand’s ‘V-motion’ grille and slender headlights, while the roofline slopes aggressively into a rear spoiler.
Sculpted rear haunches can also be glimpsed, while a strong shoulder line and deeply scalloped doors colour the side profile. 
In homage to the brand’s heritage, the lower section of the IMQ’s exterior sports three-dimensional ridges called lamellas, which, according to Nissan, “are evocative of Japanese traditional design”.
As a concept car, the IMQ rides on 22-inch wheels fitted with unique Bridgestone Connect tyres that can transmit information such as tyre load, pressure, temperature, grip level and wear to the driver.
With suicide doors fitted, the IMQ forgoes the B-pillars, while the glass roof also opens up the interior – both features that were found on Nissan’s IMS sedan concept shown earlier this year at the Detroit motor show.
Step inside and occupants are treated to a lamella-finished floor and four individual seats, while drivers sit behind a dashboard-integrated 840mm instrumentation display and rectangular steering wheel.
Hosting Nissan’s Invisible-to-Visible (I2V) technology, the centre infotainment system houses a three-dimensional virtual personal assistant, while an augmented reality windscreen can also overlay navigation information. 
Nissan senior vice-president for design Alfonso Albaisa said: “The IMQ’s design combines traditional and modern Japanese influences and shows what’s possible when future crossovers are powered by Nissan Intelligent Mobility.
“With the IMQ, the interior and exterior are seamlessly blended together, signalling what our design direction may be for Nissan’s third generation of crossovers in Europe,” he said.

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