Nissan’s Leaf SUV to lead electric vehicle’s mainstream push

  • Published On: 19 March 2018

Design Europe boss Mamoru Aoki thinks the pure-electric crossover has what it takes to be mainstream.

Mamoru Aoki stated that the model could make battery-electric vehicles truly mainstream. Aoki said, “Of course, we have the new Leaf but I think the [production version of the] IMx concept will become a breakthrough model.”

The IMx concept was first shown at the Tokyo show last October. The concept claimed to be able to do 612km on a single charge. It will be fitted with a dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain that could make 435hp and 700Nm. The Car will also feature the company’s next-gen autonomous ProPilot technology. “The IMx is not just a concept car. In a few years, it will appear [in production],” Aoki said. Aoiki said that the car’s cabin will reflect Japanese architecture and interior design. “The interior is notably bigger than with a conventional vehicle and there’s much more usable space thanks to the totally flat floor allowed by the [under-floor] battery pack. The dashboard is also pushed right back [towards the windscreen] because the HVAC [heating, ventilation and air-con] unit is under the bonnet.”

The design of the exterior of the IMx concept points to the company’s new design direction. He said the IMx does “not have a masculine look or a heavy appearance” of a combustion car. “It has a light feel and sheer surfaces,” he said. “The exterior is very Japanese in its details – expressive but with purity and an expensive feeling.”

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