But would you rather have this or a Honda E?
If the combustion-powered sports car is ever going to live on, we've got to find a way to drastically reduce emissions from other cars, right? The best place to do this is in the city, which is why more and more manufacturers are developing subcompact city EVs with an impressive range - the perfect way to fit into tight spots and be kind to the environment.
Nissan is the latest manufacturer to get in on the action, with the newly unveiled IMk concept EV set for a public debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. Nissan is no stranger to the EV game, with the Nissan Leaf being an early pioneer of electric mobility. Sure, it's now outgunned by the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Hyundai Kona EV, but it's still a good electric compact.
However, with the IMk concept, Nissan is targeting inner-city living. Measuring just 135.2 inches long, 59.5 inches wide, and 64.7 inches tall, the IMk is about the same size as a Fiat 500e. In fact, it's shorter than the 500, even if it stands a little taller and a little wider. The compact size will no doubt help in the tight confines of built-up areas, but there's more to the IMk.
It previews a production car from Nissan on an all-new EV platform, one that could underpin a range of other electric cars from the Japanese manufacturer in the future. The design also previews Nissan's next-generation design language, with future production models expected to ditch the current V-motion grille in favor of the broader grin worn by the IMk concept.
Inside, the IMk's cabin is supposed to exude "the nature of a cafe or lounge." It features bench-style seating with dimpled textures to promote relaxation, while the bright design is said to give the impression of roominess. The interior is also devoid of clutter, with controls simplified in typical concept-car style.
The IMk won't be a serious driver's car, though, and Nissan is actively pursuing fully-autonomous driving instead. Autonomous features like the smartphone-enabled ProPILOT Remote Park with valet parking feature will enable the IMk to search for parking spaces automatically after you exit the car. The car will then come to you when you're ready to go - much like Tesla's troublesome Smart Summon. The IMk also features the latest driver-assist technology from Nissan, underpinned by the ProPILOT 2.0 system, which will allow semi-autonomous highway functionality for single-lane driving.
As part of a connected future, the IMk will allow users to link their smart devices to the car for identification, automatically adjust the seats and climate controls, and plan their commute. Features like navigation are advanced by Nissan's Invisible-to-Visible (I2V) technology, which utilizes sensor data from inside and outside the vehicle, along with cloud-based data to anticipate potential problems along your route, while a human-like avatar will guide you from within the car.
With Americans shying away from small city cars - the demise of the Smart car and the Fiat 500, case in point - the production IMk is unlikely to ever make it stateside, and if we're honest, we're not sure we'd be missing out on much. We'd much rather have the funky, retro-inspired Honda e.