Nissan’s stables are already all ate up with crossovers – they’ve got the Murano, the Rogue, the Juke and the new Pathfinder, not to mention overseas models like the wildly popular Qashqai or corner cases like the Murano CrossCabriolet. So what’s one more thrown into the mix? Enter the Nissan Hi-Cross.
Unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the Hi-Cross Concept is described as a preview for a possible new design direction that will extend to the Juke, Qashqai and Murano portfolio, however it is believed to be directly previewing the new generation X-Trail SUV.
The Hi-Cross Concept is a compact, yet surprisingly roomy crossover with three rows of seats for seven passengers. It is powered by a new hybrid drivetrain that links a 2.0L direct injection petrol engine with an electric motor to provide the power expected from a 2.5L engine but with the economy and emissions expected from a much smaller unit.
For the concept, the HEV drivetrain is based on new technology developed by Nissan for front-wheel drive models, but modified to provide four-wheel drive. The new system’s innovative approach to affordability and packaging adopts ‘one-motor, two clutch’ technology linked to Nissan’s new generation XTRONIC continuously variable transmission which by itself achieves a 10% improvement in fuel economy over comparable previous generation CVTs. The low friction design has smaller shaft-diameter pulleys with a new belt to give the widest possible ratio coverage for enhanced efficiency.
The hybrid drivetrain makes extensive use of battery technology developed for the award-winning Nissan LEAF. The high output, fast-charging compact lithium-ion battery, linked to high-level motor control technology, provides acceleration assists when needed and permits downsizing of the petrol engine for optimum economy and emissions.
In city driving, the presence of the electric motor and lithium-ion battery allow the engine to be turned off frequently. It can also be disengaged completely with the clutch, and energy can be recovered effectively when braking.
The Hi-Cross Concept is 4660mm long, 1850mm wide and 1670mm tall, with 21″ alloy wheels. The styling combines existing Nissan design cues with new elements, at the front it has a characteristic V-shaped grille set off by distinctive lighting signatures provided by stylish new headlamps.
Potential new design language is showcased, in particular, by a bold character line which extends from the bonnet down the flanks of the car to the D-pillar. At the rear it has distinctive lighting signatures provided by stylish rear combination lamps echoing with headlamp lighting signature. Inside, the seven-seat cockpit is dominated by a new T-wing shaped dashboard.