- The IMk concept car is a cute-looking electric vehicle that forecasts the direction of Nissan‘s driver-assistance and EV technology.
- Inside its boxy body is a futuristic cabin that contains holographic displays and Japanese-inspired design flourishes.
- The IMk concept also boasts fully autonomous driving and the integration of car-to-smartphone communication.
Nissan is not-so-subtly targeting the next generation of car shoppers with the cutesy IMk concept car, which teases smartphone-heavy features and futuristic driving technology. It even kind of looks like a smartphone, with a reddish-copper-colored paint—called Akagane—that immediately reminded us of a rose gold iPhone.
Also like a smartphone, the IMk is exclusively powered by electricity. Unfortunately, Nissan didn’t mention any specific powertrain information other than saying the miniature hatchback has quick acceleration and is highly responsive.
At just over 135 inches long, the Nissan IMk is about 20 inches shorter (!) than a Mazda Miata. However, this cubelike concept stands much taller at 64.7 inches and measures 59.5 inches from hip to hip. Its face showcases another evolution of Nissan’s V-motion grille, and its side surfacing mixes hard creases with smooth bulges. A transparent roof, nearly nonexistent front and rear overhands, and wheels that look like they were pulled off Professor X’s wheelchair highlight its outward appearance.
There are also no door handles and no exterior mirrors. Instead, the mirrors are replaced by camera feeds inside, and the doors will presumably pop open by touch. Or maybe the IMk can read minds and will just know when passengers want access. Nissan didn’t disclose that part.
The Japanese automaker did detail the cabin environment, which flaunts some of its country’s traditional design elements and continues the concept’s whimsical features. Although its bench seat is the opposite of trendy, the interior otherwise offers things only seen in movies. For instance, the instrument panel and infotainment system are projected on holographic displays. The IMk dashboard does have a physical shifter and start button, but the rest of the controls respond to touch or voice commands.
In addition to its many slick tricks, Nissan says the concept can park itself and be remotely summoned by simply pressing a button on your phone. Likewise, the IMk can continue to communicate via smartphone by using the device to recognize the driver, apply their specific memory settings, and even optimize daily commutes.
If this Blade Runner–esque equipment isn’t impressive enough, the IMk also has the ability to self-connect to a home energy system where it can charge itself and share power with the house. Of course, this vehicle-to-home technology (a.k.a. Nissan Energy Share) would require the residence to be compatible.
Finally, the Nissan IMk concept further promotes fully autonomous driving with the latest version of the automaker’s ProPilot driver-assistance features. The system is intended to make commuting safer and more enjoyable, although we have to disagree with the latter. It will also interact with what Nissan calls Invisible-to-Visible technology that mingles exterior and interior sensors along with cloud-based data to monitor current conditions and upcoming obstacles.
With all these computerized aids and smartphone-reliant features, the future drivers of the world should have very little to worry about—and even less driving to do.