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And with talk of adding a new edition to the Nissan lineup of crossovers in Europe, namely the Juke, Murano and Qashqai, that means a production version of the Hi-Cross will pick up where the boxy X-Trail left off.
As for the US, well Nissan dealers said they didn’t want the X-Trail when it was first introduced in 2005, but given how fast things change in the auto business, what might have seemed like a good idea then, probably isn’t now or in the near future, so such a vehicle might have a fighting chance this time around.
Nissan says the Hi-Cross showcases the future direction of corporate vehicle design, though it does have an aura of Infiniti FX about it, thanks to its coke bottle contours. Although a compact, the Hi-Cross boasts three-row seating, giving it considerable interior flexibility as well as great potential sales appeal.
Utilizing a development of Nissan’s new Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) drivetrain, the Hi-CROSS combines a 2.0-liter gas four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and compact lithium ion battery system. The result is said to provide the performance of a 2.5-liter motor with the fuel economy and emissions of a much smaller engine.
As for the transmission, well it probably isn’t surprising that a version of Nissan’s XTRONIC CVT is employed, though smaller pulleys and a new belt have been incorporated to improve efficiency, while a “one motor, two clutch” system allows the gasoline engine to be engaged and uncoupled at will.
Although Nissan’s Deputy Division General Manager of Product Strategy François Bancon, says the Hi-CROSS is “purely a concept car, exploring potential ideas for the future,” it does seem rather advanced for such a machine, plus the segment it’s aimed at is currently one of the most lucrative of all, which begs the question; could a production model be announced in New York or Paris? Watch this space.
GALLERY: Nissan Hi-Cross Concept
Nissan has just announced a second major debut for next week’s Geneva Motor Show, releasing a teaser image of what it calls the Hi-Cross concept. The new concept car, or should we say truck, is rumored to provide a glimpse at the next-generation X-Trail.
Dropped from North America back in 2007 in favor of the Rogue, with Nissan now taking more of a crossover approach to the vehicle, it’s possible this new model could be a global model.
In a brief release, Nissan claims it is the “undisputed leader in the crossover segment” and comments that the Hi-Cross concept is an example of how it is, “exploring ideas to expand its award-winning range” at the Geneva Motor Show.
In addition to the Hi-Cross, Nissan will also reveal its impressive looking new Invitation concept, which is rumored as a Versa hatchback replacement.
See a video teaser below: