Xmotion show car blends tradition with high-tech
NISSAN BILLED ITS DETROIT MOTOR show Xmotion concept car as “a design exploration for a potentially groundbreaking compact SUV.”
It says the six-passenger, three-row Xmotion (pronounced “cross motion”) concept “fuses Japanese culture and traditional craftsmanship with American-style utility and new-generation Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology.”
Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice president of global design, says that “in the Xmotion concept, we explored the more rugged and powerful side of Nissan Intelligent Mobility.
“Bold and powerful forms and proportions are, upon closer inspection, contrasted with aspects of traditional Japanese craftsmanship expressed in a contemporary way.
“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.”
Signalling the future of Nissan design, the Xmotion’s exterior uses understated sculptural lines, including unique U-shaped headlights and an evolution of the brand’s signature V-motion grille.
The visual simplicity of the bodywork contrasts with the metal-crafted wheels. The mechanical tool-inspired wheels and all-terrain tyres are one piece, with the tyre tread physically laminated over the 21-inch aluminium-alloy wheels.
Additional exterior features include a retractable rooftop box and a unique tail light design inspired by Japanese woodwork.
The Xmotion’s long wheelbase and wheels pushed out to the extremes of the corners, allowed designers to create a fourplus-two seating layout.
There are three rows of side-by-side individual seats, and the cabin has been designed to provide “a perfect space for a young couple, another couple and two children or pets in the third row,” says Nissan.
The crafted interior design symbolises a Japanese landscape, honouring Nissan’s roots while incorporating advanced graphic user interfaces and autonomous driving technologies.
The interior itself was created with the imagery of a river on the floor, with the centre console acting as a bridge.
The console is the core of the interior design and uses a traditional Japanese architectural wood joinery technique, kanawa tsugi, which is found in the carpentry used to build temples and shrines.
The Xmotion concept’s instrument panel design is a modern interpretation of traditional Japanese kigumi wood joinery. Nissan says that by using the kigumi structure in the instrument panel and console, the vehicle’s interior suggests “a robust bone structure, creating a sense of strength and trust.”
The interior includes seven digital screen portions. Three main displays and left and right end displays span the width of the instrument panel. There’s also a “digital room mirror” in the ceiling and a centre console display.
Users can control the displays and infotainment system using gestures and eye movements. Intuitive controls and a voice command system allow drivers to focus on driving, helping them access various information easily and safely.
“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,” Albaisa adds.
Nissan is no stranger to cutting edge SUV design. It introduced the Juke compact crossover in the early years of this decade, and the car was an instant success in Japan and Europe.
It’s a relatively-small seller here, but has been enormously successful elsewhere, helping to spur the growth of the then-new compact crossover class into the major market segment it is today.
Above: Nissan says it Xmotion concept unveiled at Detroit hints at styling theme for its future SUVS (left); U-shaped LED headlights and modified version of Nissan family grille dominate frontal styling (centre); Long wheelbase and wheel-at-each-corner layout allowed three rows of seats (right).