It also won’t arrive until 2021 so there’s enough time to dissect what this model is going to be

Nissan’s IMx concept is finally going to be put to good use. Word has it that the SUV concept that debuted at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show will form the basis of a new compact electric crossover that will be sold down the road in the U.S. Not much is known about Nissan’s plans at the moment, but early whispers paint a hazy picture of a Rogue-sized crossover that can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in under five seconds and run for 300 miles on a single charge. The new electric crossover isn’t expected to arrive until 2021, but when it does, it will be among eight new all-electric models that Nissan plans to launch globally over the coming years.

Nissan Will Introduce an IMx-Based Production Model to the U.S. Market but It Won't Be Anywhere Near as Cool Exterior
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Another day, another crossover/SUV-related bit of news. You know we’re living in the age of these models when there’s no shortage of developments in the segment. Today, Nissan takes the spotlight after a report from Automotive News indicated that the Japanese automaker is preparing an electric crossover for the U.S. market. It’s a long time in the making for Nissan, which introduced the first mass-market, battery-powered electric vehicle in the U.S. almost ten years ago.

It’d be an exaggeration to say that the Leaf sparked an electric revolution, but it did generate interest in the segment simply because it was the first one that was available to the public. Since then, the volume of electric cars has exploded as every automaker in the world is diving in the deep end to get a piece of the market.

Nissan Will Introduce an IMx-Based Production Model to the U.S. Market but It Won't Be Anywhere Near as Cool Exterior
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Nissan, for reasons that are still unclear, decided to stand pat. It hasn’t launched another electric vehicle in the U.S. since the Leaf, which is quite incredible. But that’s about to change if we are to believe a new report. According to Automotive News, Nissan is preparing an electric crossover that will provide more power and longer range than the Leaf. It’s not exactly a high bar, but considering that Nissan has a barren electric car lineup in the market, it’s a good place to start.

The new model has been identified as a crossover, and the big news is that it would be loosely based on the IMx Concept that Nissan unveiled at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.

The phrase “loosely based” is an indication that while Nissan will take a few design cues from the concept, the future production model will likely have a different look altogether. Count that as a good thing; as intriguing as the IMx was a concept and all the technologies it touted, it didn’t exactly stand out for its aesthetic brilliance. It had an uneven design, which is probably putting it lightly. Nissan will probably ditch that in favor of a more production-friendly design that will focus a lot more on looking fresh and presentable.

Nissan Will Introduce an IMx-Based Production Model to the U.S. Market but It Won't Be Anywhere Near as Cool Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Nissan did hint that the new EV crossover will have similar proportions to the Rogue crossover with an interior space of the bigger Nissan Murano. Work your imaginations on how that’s going to look like because it is an interesting peg, to say the least. If you need help in that regard, the crossover’s spacious interior is said to have a “futuristic” look that is “like nothing on the market” today. The cockpit, according to one dealer who saw plans for the model, comes with a digital dashboard that stays hidden until the vehicle comes to life. Intriguing bit of details, wouldn’t you say?

The crossover’s design, though, is just one part of the equation. It will also ride under a new platform, which Nissan expects to use on the eight electric vehicles it plans to launch globally over the next few years. If it sounds like Nissan’s trying to play catch up, it’s because it probably is. Be that as it may, the electric crossover is also tipped to have impressive performance capabilities, none more impressive than its ability to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in under five seconds to go with a 300-mile range.

Nissan Will Introduce an IMx-Based Production Model to the U.S. Market but It Won't Be Anywhere Near as Cool Exterior
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At the very least, this yet-to-be-named electric crossover will have superior performance and range capabilities than the Leaf.

It’s 1.5 seconds faster to 60 mph and it doubles the base Leaf’s range of 150 miles. The Leaf Plus comes with a range of 220 miles, which isn’t bad, but it’s still not enough to reach the expected levels of convenience that this new electric crossover will have.

All these details look good on paper. It’s even a tad exciting to think that Nissan’s finally giving the Leaf an EV running mate after all these years. But before you get excited about the crossover’s arrival, you’re going to have to wait a little while longer for that day to arrive. According to Automotive News, Nissan’s new EV model isn’t expected to arrive until 2021. You can argue about a perceived lack of urgency on Nissan’s part given how much movement the segment is experiencing these days, but Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst at Navigate Research, told Automotive News that a 2021 launch would be better for Nissan, at least from the perspective of timing. "The market is more likely to want an electric crossover in 2021 than it is in 2019," he said.

Nissan Will Introduce an IMx-Based Production Model to the U.S. Market but It Won't Be Anywhere Near as Cool Exterior
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Say what you will about Nissan squandering what would have been a premium opportunity to be a segment leader. The Japanese automaker did blow it in that regard. It launched the Leaf in 2010 and didn’t do much to bolster that lineup until the market caught up and eventually left Nissan behind. But Nissan’s finally getting the ball rolling on its all-electric initiative. It started when it launched the Leaf Plus this year, and it should continue in the coming years as some of its planned all-electric models come to life.

First up, it seems, is this new IMx concept-based crossover. The countdown to its 2021 arrival has begun, and without sounding too obvious, Nissan needs to nail this one out of the park if it wants to make a statement about its all-electric model lineup. The days of relying on the Leaf are long gone. Now it’s time to bring in the cavalry.

Further reading

2020 Nissan IMx Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Nissan IMx.

Nissan Will Introduce an IMx-Based Production Model to the U.S. Market but It Won't Be Anywhere Near as Cool Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan IMx Concept.

2013 Nissan IDx Nismo High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2013 Nissan IDx Nismo.

2014 Nissan IDx Freeflow High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2013 Nissan IDx Freeflow.

Source: Automotive News (subscription required)

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