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Detroit Motor Show: Nissan reveals Xmotion SUV concept

By David Bonnici, 15 Jan 2018 Events

Nissan Xmotion cover LONG

Nissan has dropped a three row crossover concept which it says explores the potential for an all-new ground-breaking SUV

NISSAN has dropped a concept crossover at the Detroit Motor Show that provides some hope that even something as prosaic as a battery-powered SUV can look exciting.

Roughly the same size as an X-Trail, the three-row, six-seat Nissan Xmotion concept fuses Japanese culture and traditional craftsmanship with American-style utility and Nissan’s  ‘Intelligent Mobility’ tech.

Nissan Xmotion

However the emphasis of the concept is mostly on its design, with no mention of specific autonomous capabilities or powertrain details beyond the fact that it’s electric. Nevertheless it’s a show stopper.

Nissan’s designers have put its traditional SUV design language through boot camp, where it’s been beefed up with bulky fenders and razor sharp lines complemented by not-so-subtle garnishes around the cavernous front intakes. A set of huge 21-inch alloys don’t exactly fly under the radar either.

Nissan Xmotion

There are also bold extrapolations of current Nissan design cues like the company’s V-motion grille and signature “boomerang” headlamps. Down the back, the Xmotion’s tail-light design, which uses hologram technology, was inspired by the detail and warmth of Japanese kumiko woodwork.

The designers were also inspired by the notion of “purposeful strength” and penned the car’s ‘outer’ as protective armour for the high-tech interior and its occupants.

Nissan Xmotion concept

The doors open jaw-like, with the aperture sans centre pillar to reveal an equally-dramatic interior with three rows of side-by-side individual seats. Called a ‘4 +2’ layout, it’s designed to provide a perfect space for “a young couple, another couple and two children or pets in the third row”. Active yuppies appear to be the target demographic of this one.

In order to accommodate the third row of seats while still providing plenty of cargo capacity, the Xmotion concept includes an aerodynamically designed retractable “rooftop box” to carry extra gear.

Nissan Xmotion interior

The interior is inspired by traditional Japanese elements combined with futuristic trends. Chronologically contrasting styles are evident, from the starship-esque dashboard to the hand-crafted timber centre console that runs along the length of the car. The latter is meant to represent a bridge over a river that connects the front and rear passenger areas, but it looks more like the driver is trying to get a length of timber home from Bunnings without roof racks.

The Xmotion concept’s instrument panel design is a modern interpretation of traditional kigumi wood joinery, and houses no less than seven digital displays which can be controlled by gestures and eye movements.

Nissan Xmotion

Intuitive controls and a voice command system allow drivers to focus on driving, helping them access various information in a smart, easy and safe manner.

“We envision the Xmotion concept to be a highly functional SUV that can be driven every day, yet can take the owners and friends to a national park or recreation area on a whim,” said Nissan’s vice president of global design Alfonso Albaisa

“With its combination of style and technology, this concept fulfills Nissan’s mission of moving people to a better world.”