Techy six-seater SUV unveiled in Detroit — Nissan Xmotion concept

Techy six-seater SUV unveiled in Detroit — Nissan Xmotion concept

The Detroit Auto Show 2018 is shaping up to be seriously truck-dominated, and Nissan is getting in on the action with the Nissan Xmotion concept.

Few foreign automakers have become more committed to crossovers than Nissan.

The thin, LED boomerang-style headlights give the Xmotion an aggressive, futuristic look and contain the high-beam, low-beam, turn signals and positioning lamps - all of which can switch intensity based on the function.

Meant to usher in the next generation of Nissan's design direction, this Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde concept might be the brand's answer to the renaissance of rugged, off-road-ready, body-on-frame SUVs making a roaring comeback in recent years. And it would be due a major update around the end of the decade.

The new Nissan Xmotion (pronounced "cross motion") takes a look at the future of Nissan design for 2020 and beyond.

. "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.

"The Xmotion Concept is a study in how seemingly disparate elements can gain power and strength through coexistence", said Albaisa. In a nod to that past, Nissan has invited a new generation of craftspeople from Kyoto, Japan's GO ON project to demonstrate several ancient techniques during the show. "At the same time, it achieves the modern purposefulness required for drivers in the near-future era of connected, autonomous crossover vehicles".

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But Albaisa's new vision shows up in details like the distinctive taillamp design which, Nissan suggests, "was inspired by the detail and warmth of "kumiko" Japanese woodwork and puzzles". If your eyes are playing tricks on you, that's because the graphic is an optical illusion created by hologram technology.

Nissan's designers have put its traditional SUV design language through boot camp, where it's been beefed up with bulky fenders and razor sharp lines complemented by not-so-subtle garnishes around the cavernous front intakes.

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.

The center console is meant to look like a Japanese wooden bridge. Natural design cues continue in the authentic wood trim of the center console used from a single Japanese cedar tree from Yamagata Prefecture in the automaker's home country. The same techniques were even used for the headrests.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the auto is the huge digital display panel that span the dashboard's width.

The koi jumps into the main screen. And it has some of the usual concept-car touches, like rear-facing cameras in place of rear-view mirrors.

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