Introducing the Nissan Xmotion concept, design bridging tradition and technology


Nissan has finally pulled the veils off its latest concept vehicle, the Nissan Xmotion, at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

But Nissan is also signaling that the Xmotion is introducing a new design language that will be shared by the broader line-up, reflecting the vision of Alfonso Albaisa, the Cuban-born stylist who took over as the carmaker's global design chief previous year. "Bold and powerful forms and proportions are, upon closer inspection, contrasted with aspects of traditional Japanese craftsmanship expressed in a contemporary way", said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of global design at Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

It can also pick up "browsing" information about points of interest along the driving route and, in doing so, can enhance the experience of the journey, according to Nissan. The design elements of the XMotion are unlike the current crop of Nissans.

"Careful attention was especially paid to the grain direction, texture and even the aroma of genuine wood to look and feel as if the whole instrument panel and console were cut out of a single Japanese cedar tree", Nissan says. It also gets Nissan's Intelligent all-wheel drive. Nissan envisages it being appreciated by a young couple bringing another young couple along for the ride, and a couple of kids or pets in the third row. Three rows of side-by-side individual seats are separated by a floating central console that spans the full length of the cabin, and which is inspired by a Japanese landscape.

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"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 said.

The center console features traditional Japanese wood joinery; the same technique is used to build temples and religious shrines. The same techniques were even used for the headrests.

Inside, once you're through the huge doors - that pivot front and rear and have no B-pillar in-between - there's what Nissan is describing as a "4+2" layout.

That's why Nissan fit seven digital screens into the Xmotion, three standing in as the main displays and left and right-end screens that help stretch the width of the instrument panel.

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The displays and infotainment system can be controlled by gestures and eye movements.

Instead of using a key or fob, meanwhile, the Xmotion ramps up security by relying on fingerprint identification.

The Xmotion concept also uses a camera monitoring system in place of traditional mirrors. A personal voice assistant then comes to life. "It is created to make your life easier and the journey and more exciting and enjoyable". This could only mean that the XMotion is a pure design exercise and there are no plans of spawning a production model out of it.

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