It doesn’t really look all that great outside, but the interior and technology might redeem it

The 2019 Geneva Motor Show is overflowing with new tech concepts, including this fresh entry in the crossover segment from Nissan. It’s called the IMQ, and although we’re not really into the weird exterior styling, features like the torquey hybrid powertrain, futuristic interior, and intriguing tech ideas make it worth a look.

A Face Only A Mother Could Love

The 2019 Nissan IMQ Concept Previews Questionable Crossover Design for the Future, But Nice Tech
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The first thing to grab us about the 2019 Nissan IMQ Concept is the way it looks.

From the off, it definitely brings an exotic, tech-heavy vibe to play, and as the latest design work from the Japanese automaker, it promises to inform Nissan’s future crossover lineup in terms of aesthetic direction. However, we’re not really sold on it.

Sure, it’s got a lot of nice details. Up front is Nissan’s classic “V-motion” grille, while chrome details are mated with aerodynamic consideration from front to back. Dark lower sections offset the greyish silver paint, while “boomerang” taillights take up residency in the rear. The corners are stuffed with 22-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Bridgestone tires.

However, taking a step back, we’re really not into the style. Taken as a whole, the IMQ looks like some kind of pixelated graphic you’d drive in an early ‘80s racing game set in the year 2020. The cuts are massive, and that front end is about as garish as they come. Paired with the low-slung roofline and weird lower body lines, and well, it just doesn’t work for us.

Is This The Future Of Crossovers?

The 2019 Nissan IMQ Concept Previews Questionable Crossover Design for the Future, But Nice Tech
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While we aren’t exactly fans of the 2019 Nissan IMQ Concept’s exterior, we find the tech ideas it’s offering to be far more palatable

For example, the tires are equipped with a variety of sensors that provide the driver with data on tire load, tire pressure, tire temperature, grip level, and tire wear, all of which are quite useful.

The IMQ also provides a nod to Nissan’s powertrain future. Under the hood, the concept is equipped with a series hybrid powertrain under the e-Power family, which was developed from Japanese-market models like the Note and Serena. That means there’s no plug, but rather it comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter gas engine providing juice to a “multi-motor all-wheel-drive system”.

Total output is rated at 250 kW (335 horsepower) and 700 Nm (516 pound-feet) of torque. That’s a lot of twist for a crossover, and with the precise power delivery of a four-wheel electric motor setup, odds are you’ll be able to put it all to good use, no matter the road conditions.

The Interior Has Us Doing A Double Take

The 2019 Nissan IMQ Concept Previews Questionable Crossover Design for the Future, But Nice Tech
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No doubt about it, our favorite part of the 2019 Nissan IMQ concept has to be the cabin space.

For starters, ingress and egress is made easier thanks to rear-hinged doors and the lack of a B-pillar. Once inside, you’ll find space to sit with four forward-facing captain’s chairs, which are upholstered with two-tone fabric in a geometric design, plus kumiko woodwork. Lamella material is added to the flooring and door trim, while a black metallic finish for the seat backs adds some tasty appeal.

Up front is a gliding wing instrument panel design beset with a huge digital screen readout. Smartphone-esque operation keeps things easy.

The 2019 Nissan IMQ Concept Previews Questionable Crossover Design for the Future, But Nice Tech
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Further tech features include an “advanced prototype” of the Nissan ProPILOT autonomous drive tech, as well as Nissan’s Invisible-to-Visible technology for greater interactivity and augmented reality features. Finally, there’s a Virtual Personal Assistant to help you with the various vehicle functions and navigation.

Some Good, Some Bad…

The 2019 Nissan IMQ Concept Previews Questionable Crossover Design for the Future, But Nice Tech
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Overall, we think Nissan is on the right track when it comes to its interior and tech, but the exterior could use a little more time in the oven. The more than 500 pound-feet of torque on tap also has our attention.

What do you think of the 2019 Nissan IMQ Concept? Let us know in the comments section below.

Further Reading

Nissan's Geneva-Bound IMQ Concept Is a Hideous Mutant
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Nissan’s Geneva-Bound IMQ Concept Is A Hideous Mutant

Will Futuristic Nissan IMs EC Sport Sedan Concept Save Sedans??
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Will Futuristic Nissan IMS EC Sport Sedan Concept Save Sedans?

Will Futuristic Nissan IMs EC Sport Sedan Concept Save Sedans??
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Read more details about the 2019 Nissan IMs concept.

2017 Nissan IMx Exterior
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429 horsepower

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan IMx.

Nissan today unveiled the all-new IMQ concept vehicle, an advanced technology and design showcase that signals the direction of the next generation of crossovers.

Unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show, the IMQ seamlessly blends Japanese heritage with state-of-the-art, human-centric technology. It incorporates the latest innovations that bring to life Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the brand’s vision for the future of automotive transportation. Its styling reflects Nissan’s role as a pioneer and leader in crossovers, with a striking look that pushes the boundaries of what a European crossover can be.

At the heart of the IMQ is the next generation of e-POWER, a 100% electric motor drive system that delivers instant, linear acceleration. It has been further developed from the e-POWER technology currently available in the best-selling Nissan Note and Serena models in Japan. In the IMQ, it delivers a total output of 250 kilowatts and 700 Nm of torque.

This high output is channeled through a new multi-motor all-wheel-drive system, delivering precise and independent control of each wheel. The combination of e-POWER and AWD is ideal for low-grip conditions, such as the snowy alpine roads outside Geneva.

The IMQ offers additional insights into Nissan’s technology vision. It’s equipped with an advanced prototype version of Nissan’s ProPILOT* driving assistance system which can offer enhanced autonomous driving capability. The model also features Nissan’s Invisible-to-Visible technology, unveiled in January 2019 at the CES trade show.

Exterior and interior design merge as one
The IMQ’s dimensions place it at the center of the European C-crossover segment. It demonstrates a clean and effortless design, with the exterior and interior merging as one. This is most striking in the lines of the greenhouse, designed to give the impression of a single continuous surface.

The IMQ marks a bold new direction in Nissan’s design language. It builds on the Nissan badge, integrated into the V-motion grille, which has been given a deliberately more subtle execution. The grille blends vertically into the hood and horizontally with the front bumper to create strong corners at the outer edges. The hood features striking chrome-edged cuts as the fender rises from the wheel arches and tucks under the central section.

At the rear, a vertical character line drops from the light cluster to separate air as it passes down the side, aiding aerodynamic performance. At its upper end, it’s integrated into a new slim line interpretation of Nissan’s “boomerang” lamp cluster. The single-piece tailgate tucks under the rear fenders, echoing the design of the hood.

Closer inspection reveals extensive use of three-dimensional ridges on the darkened lower sections of the exterior. These detailed layers – known as lamellas – are evocative of Japanese traditional design and extend all around the car.

The exterior is completed by 22-inch alloy wheels with bespoke Bridgestone Connect tyres. These “smart” tyres communicate information to the driver via the graphical user interface. Data transmitted includes tyre load, pressure, temperature, grip level, wear and tyre health. This helps the IMQ automatically calibrate its in-car control systems to work optimally.

The Japanese design themes, blended with contemporary technology, continue inside. The IMQ’s doors are hinged at their outer edges and open to reveal a futuristic, spacious interior, featuring four individual seats that rise seamlessly from the lamella-covered floor, which provides a visual link to the exterior.

Nissan’s familiar “gliding wing” instrument panel dominates the front of the cabin, with a center console emerging from beneath and stretching back between the front seats into the rear.

Each sculpted seat is finished in a two-tone 3D technical fabric, laser-cut in a geometric design inspired by Japanese kumiko woodwork. The pattern is replicated on the instrument panel, door trim and parcel shelf, as well as the rich metallic finish of the seat back. Lamellas have also been integrated into the door trim and seat back uppers as headrest supports.

Futuristic control for the ultimate drive
Everything about the IMQ’s interior is focused on the driver. This is demonstrated by the graphical user interface, dominated by an 840-millimeter screen embedded in the instrument panel. It’s completely black - like a smartphone - when powered down, but when powered up, it comes to life to provide e-POWER status and other vehicle information. Further use of the black lamellas is always visible behind the screen.

A smaller, secondary screen above the center console hosts the IMQ’s Virtual Personal Assistant. It enhances the driving experience by controlling vehicle functions, such as navigation, in response to input from the driver.

The steering wheel is ergonomically shaped to put the driver in a relaxed position and to maximize the visibility of the instrument panel. Advanced, “soft-touch” paddle shift-style functionality is built into the back of the wheel.

A technology showcase
The IMQ is equipped with Nissan’s Invisible-to-Visible (I2V) technology, a 3-D interface where the “real world” converges with the virtual world. Developed by Nissan, I2V helps vehicle occupants see what may otherwise be invisible, adding confidence and excitement to the driving experience.

The opportunity to “see the invisible” is made possible with Nissan’s Omni-Sensing technology which connects the IMQ to real-world sensing information inside and outside the vehicle’s cabin, combined with information from the virtual world, displayed before the driver and passenger for a rich mixed-reality experience.

The technology can help drivers see around corners, visualize precise information about traffic jams – including causes – and determine alternative routes for a stress-free journey. Drivers may even enjoy the company of a virtual passenger, in the form of a 3D augmented-reality avatar inside the car.

Nissan’s commitment to an autonomous future, as laid out in the Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision, is also reflected in the IMQ. The car is equipped with an advanced prototype ProPILOT driver assistance system, assisting drivers on urban streets and suburban highways. This is possible due to an array of advanced sensors, radars and cameras located throughout the car that can interpret road, traffic and information signals for a smooth and confident ride.

“The IMQ’s design combines traditional and modern Japanese influences and shows what’s possible when future crossovers are powered by Nissan Intelligent Mobility,” said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president for design at Nissan. “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.”

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