2012 Detroit Auto Show: Nissan Pathfinder Concept reinvents the SUV

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 9, 2012

The new Pathfinder Concept was revealed at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show and shows how Nissan is planning to reinvent one of its most popular SUV in order to appeal to customers looking for SUV capabilities with more passenger comfort, innovative technology and fuel-efficient performance. As expected, this new concept is very close to production and seeks some positive feedback from the Detroit Auto Show (it already got it from us as we do like it!).

According to Nissan, the concept previews the next-generation Pathfinder, which will go on sale in fall 2012. As you can see from the photos, the Pathfinder Concept introduces a new design language for the Nissan brand but it also features innovative 3-row interior flexibility and room for seven passengers.

A refined V6 engine and a next-generation Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) promise to make the new Pathfinder one of the most fuel-efficient 7-passenger vehicles on the market.

Nissan expects the new Pathfinder to deliver a 25 percent increase in combined City/Highway fuel economy (over the previous V6-equipped design). In addition to offering an intuitive four-wheel-drive system, the new Pathfinder will also have towing capacity competitive with the leaders in the segment.

Still, Nissan didn’t want to offer details on the interior and technology inside. The Japanese carmaker said that the next-gen Pathfinder’s roomy cabin will deliver innovation and class-above craftsmanship, with excellent legroom in all three rows and ample cargo room behind the 3rd row.

The design you see on the Nissan Pathfinder hints at modernity while also paying tribute to the first three generations that precede it. Thanks to the new unibody, designers were able to create an exterior that is more aerodynamic while still retaining the headroom and luggage space. The new Nissan Pathfinder even has more space inside than any of the previous models because of the efficient packaging.

Nissan Pathfinder now combines dynamic strength and the trademark design cues of the Japanese carmaker. The more expensive look makes it obvious that the Pathfinder is ready for adventure with its strong fenders and more stable stance.

Meanwhile, the upper body now has an open cabin partnering with a low beltline. The A-pillar and D-pillar are also thinner and flow seamlessly into the lower body. The design also makes use of rear and front spoilers, rear suspension fairings and rear tire deflectors, to help make the new Pathfinder the most aerodynamic vehicle in its segment. Wide chrome grille, big aerodynamic headlamps, recessed windshield wipers up front, big combination lights at the rear, and chrome door handles complete the exterior design.

You can expect an airy interior with the dual panel moonroof that has a front panel that slides open and a rear panel that covers the 2nd and 3rd rows. These features, plus big windows, give you a more open environment while riding.

Nissan North America, Inc. Nissan division vice president and general manager Al Castignetti says that the new Pathfinder's design, with its new aerodynamic form, is a big step forward for SUVs. You get a modern look that retains the roominess that customers have loved with SUVs without looking plain and utilitarian.

Press Release

Nissan Pathfinder Concept

Nissan is reinventing its popular Pathfinder SUV to appeal to customers looking for SUV capabilities with more passenger comfort, innovative technology and fuel-efficient performance. The Nissan Pathfinder Concept, on display at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, previews the all-new look, style and attitude Nissan will bring to the segment when the next-gen Pathfinder goes on sale in fall 2012 at Nissan dealers nationwide. Pathfinder, Nissan's best-known nameplate in the United States, is one of 20 new or redesigned products Nissan plans to introduce in this market within the next two years.

"Nissan is in a great position today. Sales are up, market share is increasing and our dealers have a great selection of 2012 Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs in inventory," said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. "This new Pathfinder Concept is just the beginning of a far-reaching wave of new products on the horizon for Nissan. By the end of 2012, more than 70 percent of our sales volume will be all-new or redesigned."

Nissan Pathfinder Concept: Modern Design, 7-Passenger SUV Capabilities

At first glance, it is clear the Nissan Pathfinder Concept is a game-changer for the Nissan brand. The stylish fourth-generation Pathfinder design brings a new look and packaging that's ideal for adventurous owners who need versatility and SUV capability without compromise. The sweeping character lines of the Nissan Pathfinder Concept give a hint of a design language that will carry through future Nissan models. The Pathfinder Concept also features innovative 3-row interior flexibility and room for seven passengers.

The new Pathfinder's aerodynamic body is combined with a refined V6 engine and next-generation Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) to make it one of the most fuel-efficient 7-passenger vehicles on the market. It is projected to deliver an expected 25 percent increase in combined City/Highway fuel economy (over the previous V6-equipped design). In addition to offering an intuitive four-wheel-drive system, the new Pathfinder will also have towing capacity competitive with the leaders in the segment.

While the Nissan Pathfinder Concept making its world debut in Detroit provides a full glimpse of the exterior design direction the production vehicle will take, details on the interior and technology inside will have to wait. It is safe to say, however, that the next-gen Pathfinder's roomy cabin will deliver innovation and class-above craftsmanship - with excellent legroom in all three rows and ample cargo room behind the 3rd row.

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