Nissan’s new IMQ concept is a bit of Qashkai with a sprinkle of the future. At the outset, let’s break down the name. IM stands for Intelligent Mobility – the title used by Nissan for its future-ready self-driving and electric propulsion ideas. The Q, on the other hand, as we mentioned before, stands for the Qashqai of course.
While this is not the Qashqai itself, it gives a glimpse of the ideas that’ll appear in one. And, potentially, the next Juke, X-Trail too. Apart from heavy inspiration from the successful crossover, the IMQ is an all-electric model with two motors at each axle putting down 335hp and 699Nm of torque to all four wheels.
The same design is expected to make its way to the future generations of Qashqai and X-Trail.
In spite of its impressive output, the IMQ is not here to wow you with drag strip teleportation. The powertrain is not the headline here, the looks are. Nissan’s Juke became an epicentre of controversies for its looks. But the Qashqai and X-Trail were lauded for its design. What if they looked a bit edgier? More Japanese? How about ditching the old-fashioned engines for batteries and e-motors? The IMQ is a glimpse of that future.
“We do try and push envelopes. The industry is full of Russian doll design which Nissan doesn’t want to do. We enjoy that freedom. It gives us room to move and explore. The customer responds to that. The Juke customer is completely different from a Qashqai buyer and so is the usage of the car. As a designer, personally, it’s much more interesting to do different DNA,” said Nissan design boss Matthew Weaver.
The cabin is dominated by a fully digital dashboard.
With all its edges and manga, the IMQ surely mimics a Lexus. Nissan’s design team says the idea was to make the IMQ carry a Japanese flavour while not being aggressive.
“The more restrictions you get, the more I enjoy it” explains designer Matthew, “because it gives us barriers to break and constraints to work against. In fact, I think if you don’t have those restrictions, you can go a little bit wayward in design.” No names mentioned there…
“Nissan is all about reinvention at the moment. Here, we’re trying to reflect the topic of Intelligent Mobility. The dream is to get these kinds of things into production!”
Inside, the cabin is dominated with the fully digital display that looks through a giant glass bezel. The same is carried on the roof with a windscreen that wraps around the A-pillars. However, the dashboard has no vents, the steering wheel has no buttons or suicide doors that can be seen in most concepts. Again, this is Nissan’s design team imagining about a future-proof model.
Considering that this design could make its way into future generations of Qashqai and X-Trail, Nissan seems to be pulling the right strings to score well with regards to futuristic electrified autonomous vehicles.