Nissan dealers in the US say the company showed them its next EV — an all electric SUV — at a national sales meeting recently. The as yet unnamed car will be built on an all new platform and will get its public debut at the Tokyo auto show in October. According to Automotive News, the dealers who attended the meeting describe the new car as closely resembling the company’s IMx concept that appeared at the Tokyo show in 2017.
Of particular interest to consumers looking for an electric SUV, the new car is said to have a range of 300 miles, although what standard is used to compute that figure is not revealed. Japanese range estimates tend to be significantly greater than EPA numbers. Acceleration to 60 mph reportedly takes less than 5 seconds.
Ed Kim, an analyst with AutoPacific, tells Automotive News, “The importance of range among EV buyers cannot be overstated, Range is one of the top reasons people reject electric vehicles.” If the new car is offered at a “mainstream price point,” it will be competitive with Ford’s upcoming Mustang-inspired crossover and Tesla’s Model Y, Kim said.
The interior is said to be where the new car shines, say those who have seen it. Thanks to the design freedom an EV allows, the car will be about the size of the company’s compact Rogue, with the interior volume of the larger Murano.
CNET Road Show reports the dealers claim the interior is “incredibly futuristic. Not a single physical button is present and the digital dashboard supposedly doesn’t show its face until the driver starts the car. Just a pulsating start button is the only thing you’ll see before firing up the electric crossover.”
The car will also come with Nissan’s second generation ProPilot Assist system, which the company says will be equivalent to the Cadillac Super Cruise technology and allow it to drive itself from on-ramp to off-ramp on US interstates without the need for a driver to place hands on the steering wheel.
Prices? On sale date? Further details? Nissan is tight-lipped at this point and declined to answer questions about the new car. SUVs are the hottest market segment at present, so this would be the ideal time to introduce a new all electric sport utility model.
Questions about whether the car has an active liquid cooled battery — unlike the air cooled battery in the LEAF — and how it will compare to the upcoming Tesla Model Y, will be partially answered in Tokyo in October. We will bring you updates from the show as they occur.