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Detroit show: Nissan Xmotion previews future designs

V for Vendetta: Traditional Nissan elements like ‘boomerang’ headlights and a V-motion front grille are present but reinterpreted in Xmotion concept.

Nissan debuts Xmotion concept featuring new rugged SUV design language

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Nissan logo16 Jan 2018

NISSAN revealed its Xmotion concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit overnight, with the hi-tech mid-size SUV previewing the Japanese car-maker’s future design language.

Pronounced “cross motion”, the Xmotion is described as combining Japanese culture and craftsmanship with American-style utility and Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology.

Traditional brand elements like ‘boomerang’ headlights and a V-motion front grille are present but reinterpreted, with the latter featuring an insert with eight blade-like horizontal louvres inspired by architecture.

This new louvre theme is repeated with the front air intakes nestled directly below the single-unit slimline headlights and above the carbon-fibre bumper.

The side profile is characterised by chunky carbon-fibre wheelarch extensions, a raked windscreen, side cameras (in lieu of wing mirrors), short overhangs and 21-inch Y-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin all-terrain tyres. Significantly, the rubber is actually laminated over the rims to make them look larger.

The rear-end styling is more sedate, with a predominately flat tailgate flanked by a meaty carbon-fibre bumper and 3D-effect tail-lights that use hologram technology.

The Xmotion measures 4590mm long, 1940mm wide and 1700mm high, with a 2785mm wheelbase, which sees it standing 100mm shorter, 120mm wider and 40mm lower than the X-Trail, which has a 2705mm wheelbase.

Inside, the concept features a 2+2+2 seating layout consisting of three rows of side-by-side individual seats. Due to space limitations encountered with this format, a retractable roof-mounted box was added to carry additional luggage.

The centre console stretches from the front row to the rear quarters, acting as a bridge between occupants, with the interior floor representing a river.

A unique see-through headrest design was drawn from Japanese woodwork, enveloping layers of various patterns for rear passengers to look through.

A ‘floating commander’ is used by front-row occupants to control the infotainment and climate-control systems via motion – including hand gesture and eye movements – and voice detection.

Seven displays span the width of the Xmotion’s cockpit, with three main units flanked by left- and right-end screens – that act as the side mirrors – as well as a rearview ‘digital room mirror’ and a centre console display.

Fingerprint authentication is required to start the Xmotion, which once completed will activate its virtual personal assistant, dubbed ‘floating koi’, which looks like a Japanese fish.

When the autonomous driving mode is selected, the virtual personal assistant will present points of interest along the journey, as well as providing other useful information.

While the powertrain underpinning the all-wheel-drive Xmotion is unknown, some form of electrification is likely, especially given Nissan’s current business plan to extend its leadership in electric vehicles.

According to Nissan Motor Company senior vice-president of global design Alfonso Albaisa, the Xmotion is detailed in its execution despite its overt minimalism.

“Bold and powerful forms and proportions are, upon closer inspection, contrasted with aspects of traditional Japanese craftsmanship expressed in a contemporary way,” he said.

“The exterior’s combination of western and eastern concepts continues inside the Xmotion, where advanced connectivity and autonomous technologies mix with modern Japanese digital art and cultural craftsmanship.

“At a glance, Xmotion may appear to have a minimal design language, but a closer look reveals layers of detail that make this concept exceptional.”

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