Nissan unveils boxy concept SUV filled with screens, Japanese cedar at NAIAS

Kristopher Nichols
January 17, 2018

"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.

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.

Think of Nissan's new Xmotion Concept as a four-wheeled crystal ball - one that can look into the past, as well as the future.

Like the exterior, the interior is laced with elements of Japanese culture and tradition.

Visually, the Xmotion being shown at the North American International Auto Show incorporates some familiar Nissan design cues, such as the brand's "boomerang" headlamps and V-motion grille, though it grows wider and adds a more three-dimensional element. Like the rest of vehicle, the mechanical tool-inspired wheels and all-terrain tires coexist as one piece, with the tire tread physically laminated over the 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Step inside via the pillarless doors, and find an interior drawing heavy inspiration from classical Japanese nature. Down the back, the Xmotion's tail-light design, which uses hologram technology, was inspired by the detail and warmth of Japanese kumiko woodwork.

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The center console is meant to look like a Japanese wooden bridge.

Inside, the XMotion comes with an innovative 4+2 seat layout, with three rows of two seats to provide a better use of the cabin space.

"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. "In this way, the koi acts as a storyteller to connect human and machine", Nissan says. A digital centre console display is also fitted. There's also a lot of wood trim, which seems like an attempt to offset the harsh futuristic glare of the digital surfaces.

Nissan showcased the Xmotion concept which happens to be a supercool SUV.

The screens can be controlled by gestures and eye movement - although there's voice control too - and you "log-in" to the vehicle with your fingerprint, at which point your "Personal Assistant" pops up in the guise of a Koi Carp. Being a design study, the Xmotion doesn't come with a definitive powertrain, though Nissan does imply the ProPilot semi-autonomous driving technology is bundled inside. All of these screens can be controlled using hand gestures and eye movement, according to Nissan, although voice command also plays a key role in the Xmotion's HMI.

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