First Look: Nissan Hi-Cross Concept

Fresh off its Detroit release of the Pathfinder concept, Nissan’s set to launch another refreshed SUV – albeit this one isn’t likely to show up in our market any time soon. The sketch above reportedly previews the Nissan Hi-Cross Concept, which will officially debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March.

Nissan’s European press office is saying virtually nothing about the Hi-Cross, opting instead to have a sketch and a short teaser video do all of the talking. What’s shown appears to blend cues cribbed from Nissan’s existing SUV and crossover offerings. The tapered headlamps and grille section are reminiscent of the Murano and the European Qashqai, while the flared fenders and curvaceous shoulder line seem to have been inspired in part by the funky little Juke.

According to Autocar, the concept previews Nissan’s next-generation X-Trail. The X-Trail has never been offered in the U.S., but it is relatively popular abroad (and, for that matter, in both Canada and Mexico) despite the fact its basic design is nearly a decade old. In a departure from the previous model, which was marketed as a rough-and-tumble, off-roadable CUV, Autocar says Nissan will instead position its replacement as a stylish and sophisticated crossover.

Predictably, mechanical specifications are still undetermined, but it’s likely the new Hi-Cross/ X-Trail will continue to be based off Nissan’s C-platform or the company’s new modular architecture. Autocar suggests the vehicle will be offered in both front- and all-wheel-drive. A 2.0-liter turbo-diesel I-4 is virtually a shoe-in, although the X-Trail may boast a wider range of engine choices, including a few gasoline-fueled options.

Expect to see much more about the Hi-Cross next week in Geneva. As for the X-Trail, Nissan is reportedly trying to finish it to go on sale next fall in Europe.

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