2012 Geneva Motor Show Preview: Nissan Hi-Cross Concept

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 28, 2012

Nissan hopes that the new X-Trail, which will be shown at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show, will be at least as successful as the Qashqai. The design for the new X-Trail has been significantly revised. From the boxy, utilitarian appearance of the outgoing model, the new one offers a cross-over styling that’s smoother.

The new model also gets a stronger on-road bias to the ride and handling. It’s expected that both the two and four-wheel drive transmissions are will be engineered. UK fans would also be glad to know that Nissan could offer a two-wheel drive X-Trail for the first time in the country.

Nissan expects that with the new X-Trail, it will beat conventional saloons such as the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia. A source said that Nissan is “building on the popularity of the Qashqai in its segment” and that the automaker hopes to “repeat its success in the D-segment.” It’s likely to rival the Ford S-Max, which the X-Trail aims to defeat with its seven-seat configuration.

There may even be a five-seat version designed for the X-Trail. Nissan has yet to provide details about the engines but the core engine will probably be a 2.0-litre diesel.

There would likely also be several smaller capacity oil-burners and several petrols. The UK launch of the new X-Trail is slated to be in autumn 2013. It will probably be priced from £25,000.

Nissan Hi-Cross Concept is a dramatic new concept car that will be introduced to the public at the Geneva Motor Show 2012. This new concept car will herald a new possible design direction for Nissan.

The Hi-Cross Concept looks at ways for Nissan to extend its leadership in the crossover market, plus a possibility to expand the current Juke-Qashqai-Murano portfolio. The proposal, which was created in Japan, is clever, compact but surprisingly spacious, and elegant but purposeful.

This “cleverness” comes in two forms. First, despite the concept car’s modest outside proportions, it has a space-efficient interior complete with three rows of seating that can accommodate up to seven passengers. Second is that it has a hybrid drive train, where a lithium ion battery-powered electric motor is paired with a 2-liter direct injection petrol engine in order to provide the car a 2.5-liter’s performance potential and a smaller unit’s economy and emissions level. The compact lithium ion battery pack used in the concept car is also developed by Nissan.

Andy Palmer, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. Executive Vice President, said that the company originated the crossover segment with its Murano and has since expanded it with top-selling vehicles like the Juke and the Qashqai. With the Hi-Cross Concept, Nissan is showing that they are not just sitting still and resting on their laurels, but they are exploring ways to cement its leadership in the crossover segment by exploring fresh, new ideas.

The HEV drivetrain of the Nissan Hi-Cross Concept is based on a new technology that was developed by Nissan for its front-wheel drive models, but has been modified for four-wheel drive. The innovative approach of the new system when it comes to packaging and affordability adopts the one-motor-two-clutch technology that is linked to the company’s new generation XTRONIC continuous variable transmission, which achieves a 10% improvement in fuel economy compared with previous generation CVTs.

Additionally, the concept’s low friction design is characterized by smaller shaft-diameter pulleys that have a new belt for the widest ratio coverage possible for enhanced efficiency.

Moreover, the hybrid drivetrain extensively uses battery technology that was originally developed for the awarded Nissan LEAF. The compact lithium-ion battery, which is a high-output and fast-charging battery, is linked to a high-level motor control technology and provides necessary acceleration assist as well as allows the petrol engine to be downsized for optimum economy and for efficient emissions.

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