Nissan Unveils Hi-Cross 4WD Hybrid Concept (With Lithium-ion Batteries)As I've said many times, I'm not the biggest fan of SUVs, mostly because a lot of people who buy them don't actually need a vehicle that big. Over time it creates a vicious cycle: The more big vehicles there are on the road, the more people feel they need to have one too. A classic case of an arms race, and when those take place, the only winners are arms dealers.
But many people do need bigger vehicles which can seat 7 passengers, with a higher ground clearance and 4WD, etc. For those, I am glad that more and more fuel-efficient options are coming to market, and in Geneva Nissan has just unveiled a new concept that highlights what the near future of the SUV might look like (at least until they get 100% electric).
LEAF Technology InsideHere's how Nissan describes the Hi-Cross concept:
"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. [...]
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."