Nissan will need a lot more than just looks to stack up against Jaguar.
Seeing the Jaguar I-Pace Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show was impressive for a few reasons. One was its design, penned by the famous Ian Callum, but more extraordinary still was the foresight of the product planners who anticipated a rapidly approaching era of electric crossover SUVs and decided to act quickly. A few other automakers seem to be following suit, and one of these is Nissan, which Automotive News claims is working on an electric crossover concept.
Slated to be called the Vmotion 3.0, its name implies that it follows in the footsteps of the Vmotion 2.0 concept that debuted at the last Detroit Auto Show. That sleek suicide-doors and technologically advanced vehicle was not much more than a design study, but the Vmotion 3.0 is slated to be an electric car that will tell the tale of what Nissan designers, engineers, and product planners have cooking up in their studios. "We are now working on 3.0 for the future direction," Nissan's executive design director, Mamoru Aoki, said. The main design differences will lie in the EV powertrain, which will afford engineers the luxury of playing around with the traditional vehicular proportions.
This could include adding such elements as a cab-forward design, flat flooring, and more storage space in a "frunk" among other EV givens such as low-resistance tires and drag-eliminating aerodynamic designs. This, however, is only one element the concept hopes to introduce, the other two being autonomous driving and connectivity to help the autonomous systems and for when the occupants get bored of not driving and need to connect to the Internet to work or watch videos. The culmination of those ingredients has yet to be seen, but from our perspective, Nissan seems to be on the right track. While it works to unveil the third generation of its Leaf EV, the Rogue crossover is burning up the sales charts.
In theory, mixing the two platforms and selling the result at a decent price would provide a perfect way for Nissan to snatch up a large portion of buyers new to the EV segment. "Why not try something new?" said Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan global design chief. "In the future, we're not going to have just one EV. So we're starting to map out what is the DNA that can go across different genres." If it's out by the next Detroit Auto Show, get ready for some of the most social and environmentally responsible comparison videos to date. Hopefully the Grand Tour guys will be around to add some spice to the segment.