Concept vehicles at auto shows are a funny business. Some are far-off interpretations of current vehicles, which may never see actual production. Others are merely thinly-disguised previews of something an automaker has up its sleeve in the next year.
Nissan's Hi-Cross Concept falls distinctly into the latter category. The vehicle, which will be a part of Nissan's display at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show, wears typical concept window dressing like a space-age interior and exotic headlight and taillight treatments. Yet the fundamentals of this concept's shape, size, and design all hint at a forthcoming version of Nissan's Rogue crossover SUV.
Nissan has had a busy 2012, launching all-new versions of its seven-passenger Pathfinder SUV, the Altima midsize sedan and the compact Sentra. That trend will continue in 2013, with a new Rogue being the next new vehicle to hit Nissan showrooms. The vehicle is rumored to go on sale in early summer 2013, and a production version will probably break cover at the 2013 New York Auto Show in late March.
Though the production version will have real headlights, the basic proportions of this concept's grille, front bumper and headlight shape are similar to other Nissan products like the Murano and Pathfinder. Given the ubiquity of the continuously variable transmission (CVT) throughout Nissan's lineup, this vehicle will very likely have one. Power will no doubt come from a four cylinder engine in the base Rogue.
In addition to the Hi-Cross Concept, Nissan will also have on display the 2014 GT-R, its experimental DeltaWing racecar and the aforementioned Altima, Pathfinder and Sentra. Stay tuned for full coverage of the L.A. Auto Show, as well as reviews of the Pathfinder and Sentra in the coming weeks.