2012 Geneva Motor Show: Nissan Hi-Cross Concept previews the new X-Trail

Article by Christian A., on March 6, 2012

Dubbed as the Hi-Cross Concept, this new concept car from Nissan marks a possible change in the brand’s design direction. Through this new concept, it appears that Nissan wants to increase its lead in the crossover market. With this, the brand also hopes to expand its Juke-Qashqai-Murano range. Made in Japan, this concept appears elegant but is purposeful and while it is compact, it offers enough room space.

Still it remains to be a true Nissan. The brand believes that while the concept is indeed smart, it should not be limited to solely one form. This is why even if the external proportions appear modest, the inside allows a total of three rows of seats that can fit in a total of seven occupants. In terms of dimensions, the Hi-Cross Concept has overall length of 4,660 mm, total width of 1,850 mm, and height of 1,670 mm. Wheelbase is 2,780 mm and sits on the alloy 21-inch wheels. The way the concept car has been styled is that it makes use of the usual design cues the brand is known for and mixes it with various new elements.

Take the front section for example. It continues to have the signature V-shaped grille and while it does have the unique lighting signatures, this is made possible through the new headlamps. Another interesting feature is the hybrid drivetrain which makes use of the electric motor that is powered by a compact lithium-ion battery developed by Nissan itself.

This is then paired with the direction injection 2.0-liter petrol engine. With this combination, the performance is similar to what one can expect of a 2.5-liter unit. However, the fuel economy and the CO2 emissions are the same as those from a smaller engine. The battery technology on the hybrid drivetrain is the same as that on the Nissan LEAF. Its lithium-ion battery allows for fast charging and offers high output.

Meanwhile, the high-level motor control helps with the acceleration and allows for the petrol engine to be downsized, thus maximizing not only fuel economy but lower emissions. Specifically for the Hi-Cross Concept, the HEV drivetrain is founded on a rather new technology. Though this was created by Nissan to be fitted to model with front-wheel drive, this was modified in order to adapt it for the four-wheel drive. A unique approach that the brand implemented for this system was in terms of packaging and affordability.

Nissan made use of the one-motor and two-clutch technology and when mixed it with the continuously variable XTRONIC transmission, improves fuel economy by 10% especially when compared to previous versions of the CVT. The Hi-Cross Concept also utilizes a low friction design by having pulleys whose shafts have smaller diameters. A new belt is added to have the best possible ratio coverage and thus improve efficiency.

Going back to the hybrid drivetrain, the advantage of having a lithium-ion battery and an electric motor is that the engine can be turned off anytime, a situation that typically happens when driving in the city. Using the clutch, the engine can even be totally disengaged so that when braking, there is room for the energy to be recovered. Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. Executive Vice President Andy Palmer shared that when the brand came out with the Murano, it resulted in the creation of the crossover class.

With the addition of the Juke and the Qashqai, the brand was able to expand this segment further, he added. By presenting the Hi-Cross Concept, he continued, Nissan is showing that even if it leads the crossover segment, it continues to study new ideas in order to strengthen its lead further. The Hi-Cross Concept will be officially unveiled by Nissan during the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

Press Release

Nissan Hi-Cross Concept

A dramatic new concept car from Nissan, to be given its World Premiere at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, heralds a possible new design direction for the company.

Called the Nissan Hi-Cross Concept, the proposal looks at ways to extend Nissan's leadership of the crossover market with a possible expansion of the current Juke-Qashqai-Murano portfolio. Created in Japan, Hi-Cross Concept is compact yet surprisingly roomy, elegant yet purposeful and - being a Nissan - it's clever with it.

Its 'smartness' takes two forms. Despite its modest external proportions, Nissan Hi-Cross Concept has a highly space efficient interior with three rows of seats for seven passengers.

Equally as clever is its hybrid drive train, coupling an electric motor - powered by a Nissan-developed compact lithium-ion battery - with a 2.0-litre direct injection petrol engine to provide the performance potential of a 2.5-litre with the economy and emissions expected from a much smaller unit.

Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., said: "Nissan created the crossover segment with Murano and has expanded the genre with top selling cars like Qashqai and Juke. Nissan Hi-Cross Concept shows we are not sitting still, resting on our laurels, but exploring ways of cementing our crossover leadership by exploring new ideas."

For the concept, the HEV drivetrain is based on new technology developed by Nissan for front-wheel drive models, but modified to provide four-wheel drive. The new system's innovative approach to affordability and packaging adopts 'one-motor, two clutch' technology linked to Nissan's new generation XTRONIC continuously variable transmission which by itself achieves a 10 per cent improvement in fuel economy over comparable previous generation CVTs. The low friction design has smaller shaft-diameter pulleys with a new belt to give the widest possible ratio coverage for enhanced efficiency.

The hybrid drivetrain makes extensive use of battery technology developed for the award-winning Nissan LEAF. The high output, fast-charging compact lithium-ion battery, linked to high-level motor control technology, provides acceleration assist when needed and permits downsizing of the petrol engine for optimum economy and emissions.

In city driving, the presence of the electric motor and lithium-ion battery allow the engine to be turned off frequently. It can also be disengaged completely with the clutch, and energy can be recovered effectively when braking.

Built on an extensively revised version of Nissan Hi-Cross Concept sits on a 2780mm wheelbase. It is 4660mm long, 1850mm wide and 1670mm tall, with 21-in. alloy wheels. The styling combines existing Nissan design cues with new elements, at the front it has a characteristic V-shaped grille set off by distinctive lighting signatures provided by stylish new headlamps.

Potential new design language is showcased, in particular, by a bold character line which extends from the bonnet down the flanks of the car to the D-pillar. At the rear it has distinctive lighting signatures provided by stylish rear combination lamps echoing with headlamp lighting signature. Inside, the seven-seat cockpit is dominated by a new T-wing shaped dashboard.

François Bancon, Deputy Division General Manager of Product Strategy and Product Planning Division , said: "Although this is purely a concept car, exploring potential ideas for the future, there is no ambiguity about its purpose. It is a high-riding crossover, hence its name: Nissan Hi-Cross Concept.

"But the name does more than refer to its shape. The 'Hi' refers equally to the idea of extended value, to the levels of innovation found in the drivetrain and, of course, to the excitement promised from the behind the wheel."

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