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Auto Show : 2012 Geneva Auto Show

Nissan Hi-Cross Concept Vehicle: Geneva Auto Show

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author photo by Nick Jaynes
  • Nissan unveils the Hi-Cross concept vehicle at this year's Geneva Auto Show
  • Stands as taste of what Nissan's next generation crossover vehicles might look like
  • The Hi-Cross is a gas/electric hybrid with a next-generation CVT transmission

Nissan is being rather coy with the Hi-Cross' future; they've been very specific with its features-unlike other concept vehicles. Distinguishing itself from other high-concept cars, the Hi-Cross not only has striking looks but practical design elements as well. The Hi-Cross is surprisingly roomy inside and can seat seven passengers and incorporates a "T-wing" shaped dashboard.

Nowadays, most automakers have hybrids. None is really as innovative as the first. But Nissan claims this one is. In the Hi-Cross Nissan has coupled an electric motor with a 2-liter gasoline engine. Together, Nissan claims, the duo can produce the power equivalent of a 2.5-liter gasoline engine while also achieving the efficiency of a much smaller car.

That's not where the cleverness ends. Nissan has adapted its front-wheel drive hybrid design-with a dual clutch system-to provide four-wheel drive as well, making the Hi-Cross highly capable.

On the styling front, a bold character line runs the length of the Hi-Cross and extends into the hood. Up front, the V-shaped Nissan grille is accentuated by a new lighting structure, which is mimicked in the rear end. Nissan is also proud of the Hi-Cross 21-inch wheels, which appear to have been taken straight off the Ford Edge.

Nissan explains the 'Hi' refers to both a tall ride height but also extended value and design innovation, while the 'cross' simply stands for crossover. Ultimately, this new design language demonstration stands as a striking reminder of what Nissan's design gurus are capable of. But, like most concept designs, is surely bound to be watered down a bit before any production model is announced.

What it means to you: The crossover market is projected to make huge sales gains the in the following years. With the Hi-Cross, Nissan shows it, too, is capable of designing a good-looking, capable, versatile, and fuel-efficient crossover.

See more Geneva Auto Show articles.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.