Nissan will be giving this curvy crossover a world premiere at Geneva. Called the Hi-Cross Concept, it is “heralds a possible new design direction for the company” and is a proposal for a model that slots into Nissan’s Juke-Qashqai-Murano crossover range.
The Hi-Cross is a seven-seater, and the concept car showcases a hybrid drivetrain. It’s the combination of an electric motor powered by a Nissan-developed lithium-ion battery pack, and a 2.0 litre direct injection petrol engine. The battery uses much of the tech developed for the all electric Nissan LEAF.
The drivetrain was developed for front-wheel drive models, but modified to provide 4WD. It is linked to Nissan’s new generation XTRONIC CVT, which by itself achieves a 10% improvement in fuel economy over the current version. Its low friction design has smaller shaft-diameter pulleys with a new belt to give the widest possible ratio coverage for enhanced efficiency.
The powerplant is said to provide the performance potential of a 2.5 litre with the economy and emissions expected from a much smaller unit. This is an interesting development, since Nissan isn’t synonymous with hybrids, leaving the flag for rivals Toyota and Honda to fly.
The Hi-Cross Concept sits on a 2,780mm wheelbase, a number that is between the X-Trail and Murano. The concept’s 4,660 mm overall length is just 30 mm longer than the current X-Trail, so this could be a crossover that plays in the C-segment. If it is indeed the “new X-Trail” it will also fill in the blank in Nissan’s Juke-Qashqai-Murano family.
Design highlights include a bold character line that extends from the bonnet down the flanks of the car to the D-pillars. Inside, the Hi-Cross’ cockpit is dominated by a new “T-wing” shaped dashboard. Don’t be fooled by the concept tag – no one thought they were going to make the Juke!