October 23, 2007 Perhaps the least outrageous of the Japanese concepts to be unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Show – and thus the most likely to directly influence a production model, Nissan’s Intima concept saloon lays out the company’s definition of modern luxury. Slick exterior looks sit well with a glass-roofed interior that’s designed to soothe its occupants in an aesthetic sense as much as physically. Wide-angle barn doors on the driver and passenger sides give exceptionally easy access, and they’ve even included an 80-degree swiveling motorised passenger seat to assist the elderly or disabled in a comfortable and dignified entry and exit.
While the Intima runs a clean diesel V6 engine, and a number of “Safety Shield” features such as Around View monitors and Distance Control Assist, it’s likely to be the car’s luxury interior and “smart-but-not-too-out-there” looks that will draw attention in Tokyo.
"We designed Intima as a car that expresses the interior attractiveness Nissan proposes in the Modern Living Concept," explains Product Chief Designer Kinichi Saito of the Product Design Department. "The inspiration came from imagining a situation where a person who has accumulated many life experiences and successes now wants to spend his or her own time, or time together as a couple, in an elegant environment." So elegant that the Intima even comes with its own toiletries kit, for reasons unknown.
Indirect mood lighting contributes to the sense of luxury. The soft glow from the instrument panel, center console, door trim and ceiling can be set to a range of different “themes” through the console screen. Infra-red sensors also allow separate temperature control for four different zones in the car, and the air conditioner incorporates a grapeseed polyphenol filter to neutralize pollen and other allergens in the air.
A crack in the windscreen would be an expensive proposition, as it extends right up and back over to the rear seats, forming a transparent roof so all occupants of the car have a great view of the sky and surrounding buildings rather than feeling cooped up in the car. Of course, this could get annoying when the sun’s in your eyes, so we’ll have to wait ‘til Tokyo to see if Nissan have a built-in solution for that problem.