Nissan’s latest design study, the rugged and strong looking Xmotion Concept, is an automated driving capable SUV that Nissan says can serve as a daily commuter capable of hauling two couples and two kids on a weekend adventure.

Fusing Japanese-culture and American SUV styling, the 3-row Xmotion (pronounced cross motion) Concept was globally revealed at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The automaker, which teased the concept in a series of animated videos before the premiere, said the concept could be the basis of a possible “groundbreaking compact SUV.”

“It draws inspiration from the Japanese aesthetics and techniques that have been passed down through generation after generation,” Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of global design at Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., said in a statement. “At the same time, it achieves the modern purposefulness required for drivers in the near-future era of connected, autonomous crossover vehicles.”

Flexible functionality

With a long wheelbase at 109.6 inches, the Xmotion Concept’s overall length is nearly 181 inches, about 18 inches shorter than the 3-row, 7-seat Nissan Pathfinder. While seating six in a compact vehicle, the Xmotion makes use of a retractable rooftop box to haul bags or sports equipment.

The all-wheel drive concept rides high on 21-inch metal crafted wheels that were pushed to the vehicle’s corners. The all-terrain tires were designed with Michelin with the tread laminated onto the wheels, making the rims look larger. At the front, the SUV showcases a wider and deeper Nissan V-motion grille decorated with “blade-like lattice pattern” horizontal bars and Nissan’s boomerang-shaped headlamps.

Featuring U-shaped sides, the SUV’s unique tail lights were inspired by Japanese woodwork. Seating accommodates two passengers per row in the Xmotion. The interior is inspired by a Japanese landscape, complete with a river-like look on the floor and a key center console serving as a bridge for passengers. To create the console, designers used a Japanese wood joining technique sans nails or glue called kanawa tsugi, which is used to build religious structures.

“The seats are like ships that float and go slowly with the flow of the water. On the floor, we made a pattern that reminds the occupants of waves,” Albaisa said in a statement. “There’s also a hidden landscape at the third row when the door is opened, when Mt. Fuji appears dramatically and understatedly.”

Also: Check out the latest news from the Detroit Auto Show

ProPilot Assist featured

Seven digital screens fill the interior, including three main along with far left and right displays that fill the instrument panel. Door mirrors are eliminated in favor of camera monitoring systems. Images and info from the system are shown in the end display screens. Xmotion’s ProPilot Assist highway self-driving mode can be switched to manual in the center console and on the steering switch.

Hand gestures and even eye movement can control the screens and the concept’s infotainment system. And passengers can control entertainment, heating and air conditioning with hand gestures through a “floating commander” system on the console.

To start Xmotion, fingerprint authentication on the top of the console is required. A virtual personal assistant, shaped as a Japanese koi fish, then comes alive on the vehicle’s main screen. The driver’s smartphone is linked, the destination is recognized and weather info and music is activated. The SUV’s navigation system recognizes points of interest while on the go and the koi can act as a storyteller, Nissan says.

Traditional colors were mixed with modern for the Xmotion. The silver exterior shade looks like pewter and features scarlet accents. Certain exterior elements such as parts of the lower bumpers are wrapped in carbon. Japan’s red and white colors were used in the interior, as well as touches of black.

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