Nissan execs hint at upcoming EV crossover

on May22

SHANGHAI — Nissan is working on a concept vehicle that could foreshadow an all-electric crossover.

Dubbed Vmotion 3.0 by designers, the concept will be unveiled this year and encapsulate three technologies that are the basis of Nissan’s new Intelligent Mobility strategy: electrification, autonomous driving and on-the-go connectivity, according to executives who spoke about the project last month at the Shanghai auto show.

Word of the development comes just months after Nissan unveiled what it called Vmotion 2.0 in January at the Detroit auto show. That concept vehicle was an angular design of a future-generation family sedan, presented with the words “emotional geometry.”

“We are now working on 3.0 for the future direction,” Nissan’s executive design director, Mamoru Aoki, said of the company’s plans.

Vmotion 3.0 will be electric, Aoki said, and designers will take advantage of new body styling opportunities that an electric powertrain allows.

Albaisa: A plan for next-gen EVs

Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan Motor Co. global design chief, said they might experiment with such elements as flat flooring, new aerodynamic shapes and narrow low-resistance tires. 

He described 3.0 as a blueprint for the next generation of electric vehicles. 

Coincidentally, the second-generation Leaf electric five-door hatchback arrives this year. But 3.0 is meant to explore how Nissan can apply EV packaging to other segments. 

“Why not try something new?” Albaisa said. “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.” 

Daniele Schillaci, the automaker’s executive vice president for zero emissions as well as global marketing and sales, said Nissan’s next focus will be moving EV technology into crossovers. 

That is partly to tap booming crossover/SUV demand and partly to adjust to Nissan’s forecast for light trucks to account for 60 percent of its U.S. sales volume. The company is getting traction with its hot-selling Rogue crossover, and Schillaci called the segment key to Nissan’s DNA. 

“We are clearly focusing our attention on a crossover EV, because it’s our DNA,” he said. “The crossover will really embody the latest Nissan Intelligent Mobility features.”

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