Nissan IMQ hybrid crossover concept debuts at Geneva Motor Show

The tech-laden IMQ could tease the look of future Nissan crossovers.

Jake Holmes Reviews Editor
While studying traditional news journalism in college, Jake realized he was smitten by all things automotive and wound up with an internship at Car and Driver. That led to a career writing news, review and feature stories about all things automotive at Automobile Magazine, most recently at Motor1. When he's not driving, fixing or talking about cars, he's most often found on a bicycle.
Jake Holmes
3 min read
Watch this: Get a taste of Nissan's future design with the IMQ concept at Geneva

The futuristic Nissan IMQ introduced Tuesday at the Geneva Motor Show is purely a concept car, but the automaker is eager to point out that some of the basic design trends shown here could appear on future production models. "The interior and exterior are seamlessly blended together, signaling what our design direction may be for Nissan's third generation of crossovers in Europe," Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president for design at Nissan, said in a statement.

At 179.4 inches long, the IMQ is a little shorter than the crossover. It's a high-riding crossover with an extremely tall beltline and super-skinny windows, and the bodywork has very few, simple panels with lots of sharp lines. Up front is a new interpretation of Nissan's "V-Motion" grille, which the company notes has "a deliberately more subtle execution" than before.

Nissan IMQ concept

The high-riding IMQ concept has rather skinny windows.


From behind, a large roof spoiler emerging from the glass roof is the most obvious design element. Nissan's typical "boomerang" taillight design has been reshaped slightly for the IMQ, and vertical character lines are specifically intended to improve aerodynamic performance. The car's lower body cladding is made up for black ridges called lamellas, which Nissan says are "evocative of Japanese traditional design."

As is often the case with show cars, there are several fanciful touches: cameras instead of rearview mirrors, a distinct lack of door handles and overstyled 22-inch wheels.

With coach-style rear doors and no B-pillar, access to the inside of the Nissan IMQ is easy. The four seats are made from a special "technical" fabric that was laser-cut in geometric patterns to recall traditional Japanese kumiko woodworking, Nissan says. The ultra-minimalist dashboard follows Nissan's usual "gliding wing" motif, with a long center console that extends to the back row.

There's a massive 33.1-inch screen in the instrument panel that provides information on the car's functions, while a smaller screen on the second stack is said to host the IMQ Virtual Personal Assistant. Nissan says the system will respond to driver requests to control car functions like navigation, suggesting it's some sort of voice-recognition software. The black lamellas are used again for the back of the dashboard design.

Nissan IMQ concept

The inside of the concept has a decidedly minimalist appearance.


Perhaps even more intriguing than the looks, though, are the technical details of the Nissan IMQ concept. It uses a version of the company's e-Power series-hybrid powertrain, whereby a gasoline engine is used to create energy for electric motors. In the case of the IMQ concept, it's a turbocharged 1.5-liter gas engine with multiple motors to provide all-wheel drive. System output is rated at an impressive 335 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. So far, no e-Power models are available in the US, but the tech is offered on the Japanese-market Note and Serena.

The Bridgestone Connect 22-inch tires also feature advanced technology, with embedded sensors reporting information on tire load, pressure, temperature and tread depth. Nissan says that data would allow the IMQ's safety technologies, like the stability control, to automatically be calibrated for grip conditions.

Finally, the Nissan IMQ is equipped with a version of ProPilot Assist, the automaker's semi-autonomous highway driving assistance tech. It also has the Invisible-to-Visible (I2V) feature Nissan introduced at CES, which uses information from a variety of sources and sensors to provide "mixed reality" information about traffic jams, alternative routes and other road information.

The Nissan IMQ concept hints at the company's future designs

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