Called the 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 – clever with it.
Its ‘smartness’ takes two forms. Despite its modest external proportions, 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 at Nissan, said: ‘Nissan created the crossover segment with Murano and has expanded the genre with top-selling cars like Qashqai and Juke.
‘Hi-Cross Concept shows we are not sitting still, but exploring ways of cementing our crossover leadership by exploring new ideas.’
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 allows the engine to be turned off frequently. It can also be disengaged completely with the clutch, and energy can be recovered effectively when braking.
François Bancon, Deputy General Manager of Nissan’s 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: 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.’