Nissan is showcasing its latest semi-autonomous lounge concept – the IMk – which the company describes as “the ultimate urban commuter vehicle”.
The fully electric car adopts the simplistic nature of traditional Japanese design and combines it with a cabin that exudes the relaxed atmosphere a cafe or lounge.
Equipped with the latest ProPILOT advanced driver assistance technologies and seamless connectivity features, the IMk provides a glimpse of how Nissan’s urban-oriented cars may look and feel in future.
“As a small EV for a new era, the Nissan IMk is designed to be at home in sophisticated cityscapes as much as in traditional Japanese towns,” said Satoru Tai, executive design director at Nissan. “The IMk fuses a modern, clean look, driven by its Japanese heritage, with cutting-edge EV technology.”
The vehicle’s bench-style seating, with its dimpled texture, promotes a relaxing space that’s intended to create the impression of sitting on a floating cloud. The dashboard and sections of the doors are upholstered with light tonal materials, adding to the cozy atmosphere. Akagane-colored accents along the instrument panel, doors and steering wheel add brightness to the interior and provide a premium feel to the vehicle as a whole.
Interlocking with the lower door section are wood slats that are a nod to the Japanese wood joinery technique of kigumi, which create a sense of inner calm. This feature is highlighted by special hidden lighting. Dark coffee-colored floor carpeting with woven strands of metallic fiber enhance the cozy, relaxing setting.
Other than the start button and shifter, the IMk’s thin dashboard is void of physical controls. Powering up the IMk reveals cabin comfort controls and settings with soft glowing icons within the Akagane trim.
Important driving information, such as vehicle speed and navigation directions, appear in ‘mid-air’ by way of a bezel-less prism display. Customized information is communicated to the driver via holographic displays. Interior accent lighting mimics the prism display’s color scheme, depending on displayed content.
“We could have kept all the surfaces inside the IMk’s cabin flat, which would have equated to more physical space,” added Tai. “But if we did that, we would have lost some of its beauty, and we didn’t want to go that route. The IMk was never about being roomier than a traditional small car. It was about being an upscale, stylish partner that gives occupants a chic, elegant space to enjoy.”
The Nissan IMk concept represents another step toward fully autonomous driving. The smartphone enabled ProPILOT Remote Park feature with valet parking can search for a parking space automatically after you and your passengers step out of the car. When you’re ready to hit the road again, a simple tap of a button brings the car to you.
Among the other notable functions is the latest driver assistance technology, built off an advanced version of ProPILOT 2.0, which helps make driving safer.
Asako Hoshino, Nissan’s executive vice president overseeing global marketing and sales and the brand’s global EV business, said, “The IMk concept provides a glimpse of the new direction of Nissan Intelligent Mobility as technology evolves toward electrification and connectivity. At Nissan, we intend to continue launching cars with the latest advanced systems to maintain our lead in automotive innovation.”
For more insight on how vehicle interiors will change with the advent of autonomy, catch the afternoon session of the first day of the The Future of Automotive Interiors Conference, which is hosted at Automotive Interiors Expo in Novi later this month. Find the full program, as well as rates and booking information here.