Nissan Hi-Cross Concept [cardvdseller's blog]

Compared to glitzy, high-profile Geneva auto show debuts like the newFerrari F12berlinetta and Infiniti EMERG-E concept, Nissan’s Hi-Cross hybrid crossover concept could be perceived as a bit of a yawner. But the Hi-Cross is more interesting than you might think, packing a good deal of cleverness into a manageably sized and theoretically fuel-efficient package.

Hot Dog! A Hybrid Crossover!

Nissan’s current Euro crossover lineup is fairly crowded, so it’s surprising that Nissan says the Hi-Cross previews a “possible expansion of the current Juke-Qashqai-Murano portfolio.” So what does the Hi-Cross bring to the table that Nissan’s other three high-riding wagons don’t? Besides its hybrid powertrain, the Hi-Cross boasts seating for seven in three rows of seats. If you’re wondering whether the Hi-Cross is somehow a 2013 Pathfinder in disguise, it isn’t. Dimensionally, it slots right in between the five-passenger Qashqai and Murano. For a size reference that’s closer to home, the Hi-Cross is about the same size as the Rogue sold here. It also could potentially turn into the replacement for the X-Trail, a similarly sized SUV that’s been offered elsewhere in the world for more than a decade.

Nissan says the Hi-Cross offers a glimpse of a new styling direction for the brand. Up front there’s a fresh take on the corporate grille flanked by a pair of Murano-like headlights, and the design has a few additional hard edges and creases than the current lineup of Nissan crossovers. We think it’s attractive, and its fun-yet-aggressive look reminds us some of the Mazda CX-5. Of course, the concept’s muscular stance is helped in no small part by the set of 21-inch wheels. The cabin houses a cool-looking capacitive center stack and a future-think gauge cluster, but the cabin is otherwise devoid of typical show-car flourishes.

Not More CVTs!

The Hi-Cross proves that Nissan’s commitment to CVTs hasn’t wavered, as it’s fitted with what’s being described as a next-generation continuously variable transmission. To be fair, if this is the same revised Xtronic unit we sampled late last year, it shouldn’t be completely terrible. As for the Hi-Cross’s hybrid system, Nissan doesn’t give the setup’s particulars, but it does say that it includes an electric motor, lithium-ion batteries, a direct-injection 2.0-liter supercharged four, and the CVT. It also says that the system is built from front-drive-based, in-house tech modified to provide all-wheel drive. With only a few details to go on, it nevertheless appears that the Hi-Cross’s hybrid powertrain functions similarly to those used in the Infiniti M35h and the upcoming Nissan Altima hybrid sedan. In those models, the electric motor is sandwiched between the engine and transmission, and can be coupled or decoupled from the engine via a clutch. A second clutch behind the transmission is used to smooth out the transition from gas to electric propulsion.

Given the Hi-Cross’s production-derived hybrid technology and interior packaging, it probably won’t be a concept for long. Nissan refers to the SUV as a “future crossover proposal,” and we can’t help but think it would make a compelling Rogue replacement here in the States. Nissan’s complicated crossover and SUV strategy, however, makes that far from a sure thing.

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This entry was posted in Auto Express, Car DVD Player Knowledge, Car Reviews, Nissan and tagged auto GPS, car DVD player with GPS, Car GPS, car Navigation, Car Radio, In-dash DVD players, NISSAN HI-CROSS, NISSAN HI-CROSS auto DVD player, NISSAN HI-CROSS auto GPS, NISSAN HI-CROSS car audio, NISSAN HI-CROSS Car DVD Player, NISSAN HI-CROSS Car DVD Players, NISSAN HI-CROSS Car Stereo, NISSAN HI-CROSS DVD player, NISSAN HI-CROSS DVD Players, NISSAN HI-CROSS GPS, NISSAN HI-CROSS In-Dash, NISSAN HI-CROSS In-Dash DVD player, NISSAN HI-CROSS iPod, NISSAN HI-CROSS Navigation, NISSAN HI-CROSS Radio. Bookmark the permalink.

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