The 46th Tokyo Motor Show, Japan›s largest, biennial automotive convention, is currently in full swing at the Tokyo Big Sight until Nov. 4. As is traditional, each major Japanese automotive manufacturer showcased its latest products and concept cars, unveiling them for the first time during the official Press Day held last Wednesday, Oct. 23. On this day, Nissan Motor Co., one of the quickest to successfully develop EVs (electric vehicles) and highly intelligent driving assistance technologies, unveiled two uber-fascinating, concept cars which now redefine the design direction of the brand: the Nissan Ariya concept crossover and the Nissan IMk concept urban commuter.w
Both the Ariya and the IMk are icons of Nissan’s latest design direction called Timeless Japanese Futurism — a new design language that combines the company’s 100 percent EV platform with traditional Japanese minimalist themes. And these are not just among your typical show cars, emphasized Nissan’s ever-charismatic senior vice president for global design, Alfonso Albaisa. These, he said, are concepts which we will soon be able to drive.
The Nissan Ariya compact crossover features an all-new electric platform and showcases excellent traction under any road condition. It carries a soothing and warm cabin with digitally-inspired details and a very strong EV signature — embodied in its sonars, cameras, and other equipment that work together to provide its riders with hands-off driving, auto-parking, and other semi-autonomous features.
“The Ariya concept is born in a time of huge technological leaps from our engineers, making visible a blank canvas for design,” exclaimed Alfonso. Pointing out that “We were able to look forward and back simultaneously, uncovering a new language for the Nissan brand that fuses high technology and the Japanese spirit — combining electric, autonomous, and connected functions.”
Meanwhile, the Nissan IMk concept features an all-new EV powertrain: a compact, agile body, and a distinctive low center of gravity. It is meant to fulfill the evolving customers’ needs in a chic package; and to impress its occupants with its lounge seats and super flat floor. It is an innovative, next-generation city commuter that integrates Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility technology into its mechanisms in order to aim for that zero-percent-accident target in the new era that is opening up for Nissan.
Albaisa believes that technology should be able to solve the world’s problems, and that it should be able to help everyone. And Nissan has come another step closer toward this aspiration when it very recently launched its ProPilot version 2.0 — now already integrated into some of its production cars, and initially available to the Japanese market.
Together, the Ariya and IMk tell one story about Nissan’s new design language for the era of electrification — and it is a lot about Japanese ‘Ma’, or the mastery of the empty space. And the Japanese have a minimalism that is much, much different from the European one, points out Alfonso. He explains further by discussing how European minimalism is about the subtraction of the unnecessary elements — while Japanese minimalism is about the addition of simple elements in the first place.
“We want to make the cars different and special for all people,” remarked Alfonso. Furthering that “We want the Ariya to be an EV crossover, but we want it to cross over completely. We’re looking to a future with autonomous capability.”
Nissan’s display at the current Tokyo Motor Show also features the new Nissan Skyline, fitted with its most advanced driver assistance technology, ProPilot 2.0. It also showcases the company’s most popular minivan in Japan — the Nissan Serena, powered with e-power technology (which uses an efficient ICE to power an electric motor that drives the vehicle, thereby giving it EV driving efficiencies). Their display also includes the Nissan DayZ (also equipped with ProPilot); and the latest Leaf NISMO RC that runs on a twin electric motor! It also includes on display the zero-emission Nissan Leaf e+.
For GT-R fans, their current display also features the 50th-anniversary Nissan GT-R and super-awesome GT-R NISMO.
“These are transformational times for the auto industry, and a new era is opening up for Nissan,” exclaimed Nissan’s executive vice president for global research and development, Kunio Nakaguro. Adding that “We have been among the fastest to develop EVs and highly intelligent driving assistance technologies, and as shown by our two concept vehicles, we intend to continue our role as a global pioneer.”