Nissan IMs EC Sport Sedan Drives Autonomously and Can Do So For 380 Miles

At the dawn of the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, Nissan has taken the covers off the interesting IMs EC Sport Sedan Concept. It is an electric autonomous car of the future that seemingly looks to try and save sedans. The premise is,... newish. Nissan envisioned the raised up electric sedan with a really interesting interior layout, an all-wheel-drive system, and autonomous gear. If I go back to 2017, I can find the Volvo S60 Cross Country. See, the S60, not the V60 Cross Country. The S60 Cross Country sedan was on sale for some time. It was basically a raised up sedan, with soft off-road gear inherited from its wagon brother. So, now Nissan did the same, only with a twist. A hell of a twist might I add.

Does The IMs EC Sport Sedan Concept Previews The New Maxima, or the New Primera?

Will Futuristic Nissan IMs EC Sport Sedan Concept Save Sedans??
- image 814725

Honestly, probably neither!

As the producer of the electric bestseller - the Leaf, Nissan has a sort of an obligation to smash the borders of conventionality with every electric car the company plans to introduce. And boy did it smash the walls with the IMs EC Sport Sedan Concept.

The cars simply look futuristic and damn good. Yet, Nissan managed to link the current design traits such as the V-motion design language with the grilles nature of the IMs EC Sport Sedan Concept (a mouthful). That with a twist as well.

Instead of some sort of a fake grille at the front, Nissan designers shaped the thin segments of the full LED headlights into a recognizable V shape.

This gave the IMs a proper family connection with all the current Nissan production cars.

Yet, I can see a curiosity here. See, Nissan never actually entered the world of modern four-door coupes (I know you hate this word, but that’s what they are). The IMs EC Sport Sedan Concept does invite a certain sporty coupe attitude usually reserved for the likes of the A7, the Arteon, or the CLA. The question I had - does it remind at all of the 2001 Primera. That was a sort of a sedan with a swept back roof. A fastback if you will. While I may squeeze in some similarities between the design of the new IMs EC Sport Sedan Concept and the old Primera, I choose not to because these two are fundamentally different in their character.

Will Futuristic Nissan IMs EC Sport Sedan Concept Save Sedans??
- image 814723

Plus, at 190 inches in length, it is more than 15 inches longer than that old Primera.
The IMs EC Sport Sedan also sports a 114-inch wheelbase (quite generous) and a width of 74 inches.

The exterior, apart from the obvious connection with the current Nissan cars, actually mates the coupe style with the sharp and powerful creases at the sides and rather pronounced fenders.

The lights are the most impressive here, though. In fact, Nissan used LED lights to notify other drivers and bypassers of the activated autonomous system. If it’s activated, the headlights and the rear lights turn blue. This is apparently the way this Nissan car will notify people about its autonomous nature.

New Interior Concept

Will Futuristic Nissan IMs EC Sport Sedan Concept Save Sedans??
- image 814740
All electric cars have an important advantage over ICE powered cars - they have tons of room inside thanks to a compact electric motor pack and modular batteries. The Nissan IMs EC Sport Concept stretched this advantage to its absolute limit.

With all drivetrain gear lodged under the floor (and I mean all of it), the designers created a rather cool seat arrangement. Two at the front are of the standard design, but the three at the back aren’t. In fact, at the center of the second row sits a really comfy seat Nissan dubbed the “Premier Seat”. Two smaller seats are located at the sides of the premier seat and they actually fold. It is roughly similar arrangement as in the new McLaren Speedtail, only with smaller and foldable outboard seats.

Will Futuristic Nissan IMs EC Sport Sedan Concept Save Sedans??
- image 814738

The rest of the interior is rather flamboyant in its style with all kind of geometric shapes decorating the dash and the doors (rear doors are “suicide doors”). Some shapes on the inside look like 3D printed, but Nissan did not mention anything about 3D prints. Actually, the interior does have a bit of a DS vibe. Kinda unusual, but I am OK with it.

More importantly, the cabin if fully created under the autonomous car “umbrella”.

Basically, its shape and convenience depend on the selected mode. It will become driver-centric with the Manual Mode but select the Autonomous Mode and all the “driving distractions” are eliminated. Focus on the conversation, chill out, work or even eat a BigMac.

How Does It Drive?

Will Futuristic Nissan IMs EC Sport Sedan Concept Save Sedans??
- image 814724

No one knows how does the Nissan IMS EC Sport Sedan Concept drive.

I do know, however, that it will attack the world with dual electric motors (one at the front axle and one at the back) for a total of 483 horsepower and massive 590 pound-feet of torque.

Obviously, it has an AWD system that comes in handy with its raised height (as tall as the Mercedes GLA) and elevated ground clearance. The batteries (completely sank beneath the floor) have a capacity of 115 kWh. That’s huge!. So is claimed 380 miles of range for the IMs EC Sport Sedan Concept.

While I do not expect the IMs EC Sport Sedan Concept to reach production, I do believe it suggests a novel approach with the design of the new electric cars. One of the most important technologies included in the IMs EC package is Nissan’s new Invisible-to-Visible connected-car technology. This is a technology that uses sensors, the Internet and communication with other cars to acquire road details and information that you, as a driver, can never see (congestion, weather, advanced navigation, or an accident on the route). Then, it can project it all on the displays, or the windshield.

The Nissan IMs concept, with its revolutionary new proportions and stretched interior space – including a unique "Premier Seat" 2 + 1 + 2 seating architecture – is designed to create an entirely new vehicle segment, the elevated sports sedan.

The pure electric all-wheel drive concept vehicle with full autonomous drive capability, made its world debut today at the 2019 North American International Auto Show. It will be on public display throughout the show’s run, January 19 – 27, at Detroit’s Cobo Center.

Nissan IMs Concept

"This bold Nissan IMs concept represents the birth of an entirely new segment of vehicle – an elevated, electrified sports sedan," said Denis Le Vot, senior vice president, chairman of Management Committee, Nissan North America, Inc., during a press conference revealing the IMs concept. "It makes sense that the first automaker to bring the world a mass-market EV would bring you the future of the electric high-performance sports sedan."

Le Vot also announced that following last week’s debut of the longer range 2019 Nissan LEAF e+ at the Consumer Electronics Show, Nissan will launch an additional seven electric vehicles by 2022.

The IMs concept’s uniquely powerful exterior and interior designs are made possible by the innovative electric and autonomous technology that embodies Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s vision for changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society.

"Fully embracing the three pillars of Nissan Intelligent Mobility – Intelligent Driving, Intelligent Power and Intelligent Integration – the IMs concept moves toward the creation of a sustainable mobile society in the form of EVs, autonomous drive and connectivity technologies," said Le Vot.

The concept’s powertrain utilizes a high-performance all-wheel-drive (AWD) system powered by a pair of electric motors located at the front and rear of the vehicle. The result is an ideal front/rear weight balance, exceptional traction over slick driving surfaces and excellent cornering performance. Thanks to an advanced air suspension that adapts to different driving situations, the IMs concept possesses a silky, smooth ride quality and flat cornering character.

The vehicle’s electric powertrain consists of dual electric motors (front and rear) generates 483 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque and a 115-kWh battery provides an estimated range of 380 miles on a single charge.

The IMs concept’s standout exterior transforms the styling of a traditional sedan into a vehicle with provocative proportions, sporty character and excellent aerodynamics. Unique to Nissan, it also seamlessly marries futuristic high-tech qualities with timeless Japanese accents.

Nissan’s signature V-motion design language, which is incorporated throughout the 2019 Nissan model lineup, is emphasized on the IMs concept’s grille-less front fascia through the shape and placement of the headlamps. The bold, thin V-shaped lighting design is both prominent and practical, giving the entire vehicle a futuristic yet distinctively Nissan look, while aggressive 22-inch wheels add to the vehicle’s sporty attitude.

In Autonomous Drive mode, the IMs concept’s headlights and rear combination light turn blue and the lighting travels continuously from front-to-rear to notify pedestrians and other drivers of its autonomous status.

The exterior also features holographic rear tail lamps and a B-pillar-less 4-door body structure with reverse-opening rear doors for easy interior access. To emphasize its Japanese character, a traditional Japanese Asanoha geometric graphic pattern has been applied in gold over the IMs concept’s smoked glass roof surface. The pattern is used throughout the vehicle, including on the wheels and inside the cabin.

The exterior is finished with a special "liquid metal" paint that is meant to suggest an imaginary mineral on the moon. The qualities of this color, inspired by the Japanese kimono, enhance the IMs concept’s unique and beautiful sculptural form in a subtle way, with shifts in gradation.

The IMs concept’s interior represents an entirely new way of visualizing how future commuters will travel in an autonomously driven world. Putting a priority on the vehicle’s interior space, all powertrain components have been tucked completely away underneath the cabin floor.

In manual driving mode, the IMs concept’s interior becomes a driver-centric cockpit with advanced driver-assistance technology and multi-level information displays, giving full vehicle control to the driver.

In autonomous drive mode, the IMs concept can transform from an engaging driver’s car to a fully autonomous vehicle, allowing the driver to engage in conversation with passengers, catch up on work or just enjoy the numerous entertainment options.

Nissan IMs concept "Premier Seat"

Dominating the rear space is the innovative "Premier Seat," an oversized center seat that appears out of the three-across rear seat after the slim outboard positions are folded. The interior color treatment utilizes darker materials in contrast to the lighter, simpler exterior. Gold details are found throughout the interior, providing elements of light to the interior in the same fashion as Japanese paper door screens provide light for traditional Japanese tatami rooms.

"This IMs concept is the latest example of how we envision the future of mobility as we head toward our goal of zero emissions and zero fatalities on the road. It is an advanced study in progressive proportions, which has resulted in a completely new type of elevated sports sedan" said Le Vot. "Combining a sleek and sexy exterior with a warm cavernous cabin, the IMs concept offers a fresh kind of driving experience, manually, autonomously and virtually."

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: