Nissan started their press conference off with an apology from Daniele Schillaci, Executive Vice President for Global Marketing and Sales. Recent scandals involving Kobe Steel, as well as the signing off of cars for the Japanese market by unqualified staff, has put Nissan under intense scrutiny. By owning up to it and bowing deeply in front of the predominantly Japanese media, Schillaci made it clear that Nissan’s leadership intends to own their mistakes.
It’s all about moving forward for Nissan. Immediately after the apology, Schillaci moved on to Nissan’s plans for their future which centers around what Nissan calls Intelligent Mobility.
Powered by two electric motors providing a combined 320kW (430 horsepower) of power and 516 lb-ft of torque, the IMx Zero Emissions Concept “embodies” the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility. Nissan claims it’ll achieve a range of 372 miles on a single charge. Though don’t get too excited. This is a concept car that probably won’t see production. Perhaps we’ll see elements of design from this concept in future SUVs and crossovers. The next Murano could look something like this or, better yet, the next Juke.
The IMx has Nissan’s ProPILOT system which offers two modes In ProPILOT mode, the computer fully takes over control of the car. In this mode, the ProPILOT retracts the steering wheel and reclines the seat for a more lounge-like experience while Manual gives the driver full control again.
What’s more this electric autonomous crossover can also drop you off at the airport, take itself back your house and even send power back to the grid by powering your house while you’re away. See, Intelligent Mobility.
Of course a lot of this is still a few years away. Nissan wants to implement something along these lines by 2020. You’ll notice with a lot of the press conferences at the Tokyo Motor Show this year; 2020 is a big year for them. Perhaps the Olympics have something to do with it, perhaps it’s just easy to make 20-20 vision puns with that year. Either way, there’s a lot happening in 3 years.
In the much nearer future but still sticking with EVs and Intelligent Mobility, the Leaf NISMO Concept previews what a NISMO EV could look like. Nissan didn’t go into much detail about the Leaf NISMO and whether or not it had any performance upgrades over the standard Leaf. They did say it would offer an “exciting drive” and have “aerodynamic advantages” over the standard Leaf.
There’s potential here. No one has done or is doing affordable ‘sporty’ EVs. Done properly, this Leaf NISMO or whatever else small Nissan/NISMO EV is in the works could change the ‘appliance’ stigma of EV hatchbacks. Remember the Renault ZOE e-sport Concept? Surely this would be the perfect time for the Renault-Nissan Alliance to come into action.
Continuing on with their commitment to EVs, Nissan also announced they’d be competing in Formula E next season. They’ll be the first Japanese manufacturer to enter the FIA series and will join the likes of other EV-committed brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi, Jaguar, Renault, and DS.
Apart from the Formula E announcement, which if you think about it seems like a no-brainer for Nissan, it was a bit predictable. The Leaf NISMO had already been pre-released. And, while the IMx is a good enough looking crossover to rival something like a Tesla Model X, it’s not destined for production. Also, a concept or announcement of a new Z wouldn’t have hurt.