The Nissan Hi-Cross concept, which has made its debut at the Geneva motor show, explores the expansion of the marque's crossover line-up. The design could influence new variants of the Qashqai, X-Trail and Murano.
Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President Nissan said: "We don't do concepts for the sake of it, so it's fairly clear this is a car showing how a vehicle above Qashqai could look. That high front sweep, the front V, the lamp signature are all likely to make it to production in Europe.
"We are actively trying to be different in each sector of the market - that doesn't mean building niche vehicles, but cars that are innovative and exciting in the mainstream sectors they operate in."
The concept has a dramatic design, with smooth, cross-over styling. The road manners are understood to have a far a stronger on-road bias to the ride and handling. Both two and four-wheel drive transmissions are expected to be engineered.
The aim with production versions of the Hi-Cross is to score a sales success against conventional saloons like the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia. ‘Building on the popularity of the Qashqai in its segment, the idea is to repeat its success in the D-segment,’ says a source.
Another competitor will be the highly-successful Ford S-Max, which the new model will tackle with a seven-seat configuration. A five-seat version may also be engineered.
Details of the engines have yet to be revealed, although the core engine is expected to be a 2.0-litre diesel, backed-up by smaller capacity oil-burners and some petrols.
The new X-Trail is being readied for a UK launch in autumn 2013 and prices are likely to start from £25k.