Nissan Zaroot

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Side View

This concept could foretell a future version of Nissan's popular European-market X-trail SUV. Based on the Altima platform, it also could spawn a unibody, compact SUV for the U.S. market to compete with the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. Some U.S. Nissan officials worry, however, that it would cannibalize sales of the more rugged, body-on-frame Xterra. Although not particularly attractive, the Zaroot (the name plays on the words "root" and "route") definitely makes an aggressive visual statement, with substantial wheel arches, the now-familiar Nissan truck front end styling, and huge gullwing doors that stretch from the A-pillar to the C-pillar. (There is no B-pillar.) When the doors lift up, the sill drops away, creating a gaping aperture for loading humans and gear. Inside, you'll find predictable concept-car features such as a floating center console, copious use of aluminum, wildly exotic colors and materials, and organic shapes.

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