• Electric concept blends car and crossover cues
  • Promise of autonomous capability
  • New 2+1+2 seating architecture
  • Boasts 483 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque


As one of three pure concept cars revealed at the North American International Auto Show, the Nissan IMs blends the ride height and cabin configuration of a crossover with the exterior styling and performance attributes of a sport sedan. The only other show cars presented in Detroit was by Nissan’s luxury division which showed the Infiniti QX Inspiration EV and the GAC Entranze, while Lexus has a convertible concept ofi its production LC coupe.. 

The Nissan IMs is called an “elevated sports sedan” and incorporates packaging, platform and a powertrain developed by Nissan Intelligent Mobility. The higher ride height is the result of positioning the battery pack beneath the floor and maximizing cabin space thanks to the vehicle’s extended 114-inch wheelbase. While the IMs offers the ride height and interior roominess of a crossover, Nissan says the exterior shape and performance characteristics are more in line with a traditional sports sedan.

All-wheel drive EV power

Measuring 190 inches overall and standing 59 inches tall, the IMs boasts dual electric motors, one on each axle, capable of generating a combined 483 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. The motors are served by a 115-kWh battery which Nissan says is good for a range of 380 miles on a single charge.

Adding to the car’s sporty looks are the 22-inch alloy wheels shod with Michelin 255/40R22 tires. The IMs also features an air suspension that adapts vehicle height and stiffness to the road type and driving mode and balances ride comfort with performance.

Flexible interior

The IMs has four doors, with coach-style rear-hinged back doors that allow for unimpeded access thanks to the B-pillarless design. The interior features innovative 2+1+2 lounge type seating that has front buckets that can swivel to become rear facing, and a rear seating arrangement that can accommodate three passengers. When the two outboard positions are stowed, a single so-called “premier seat” boasts an ottoman for ultimate comfort. This lounge-like atmosphere is reinforced by the lack of a traditional center console and the flat floor construction.

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When in manually driven mode, the dashboard features a layered instrument cluster in front of the driver that can be configured to display only the information necessary for the vehicle’s operation, thereby minimizing driver distraction. Other layers of the display can be used to call up additional information as needed. The steering wheel is retracted when the vehicle is in autonomous mode.

“With the elevated seating position and the car’s excellent performance, the driver can take full advantage of multilayered technology, from the air suspension to the intuitive controls, to the information displays,” said Giovanny Arroba, program design director at Nissan. “But just as easily, the IMs 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.” 

While it’s not likely we will see this vehicle on the road anytime soon, Nissan said the design elements, autonomous features and EV architecture may be adopted by future production models. 

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