Since 1986, the Nissan Pathfinder has been a leader in the SUV category, blending style, utility and reasonable value that appealed to many consumers. Each generation of the Pathy has been a clear descendant of the previous model. Until now that is. The “concept” that Nissan is showing at Detroit is a drastic departure from the historic two box shape that has always defined the truck.
One of the keys to Pathfinder’s success has always been that it was, first and foremost, a truck. A body on frame constructed truck that was capable of doing real work while also being comfy and looking sharp. The new unit will be a unibody construction, essentially turning the Pathy into a very large crossover.
For some consumers, boxy may not be good, as Volvo learned by staying with the box for too many years before becoming sexy. The new Pathfinder is certainly sexy and may just draw a whole new segment of buyers into the showroom. Let’s just hope they don’t lose the ever important utility part of the equation by moving away from the tried and true truck platform.
Photo gallery and Nissan press release after the break.
Nissan press release
01.09.2012 , DETROIT
NISSAN REINVENTS THE PATHFINDER AS THE NEXT GEN SUV WITH NEW AERODYNAMIC STYLING AND ENHANCED FUEL ECONOMY
– Preview Concept Shows Dramatic New Styling Emphasis; One of 20 New or Redesigned Products Set to Arrive Within Next Two Years –
Nissan is reinventing its popular Pathfinder SUV to appeal to customers looking for SUV capabilities with more passenger comfort, innovative technology and fuel-efficient performance. The Pathfinder Concept, on display at the North American International Auto Show, previews the all-new look, style and attitude Nissan will bring to the segment when the next-gen Pathfinder goes on sale in fall 2012 at Nissan dealers nationwide. Pathfinder, Nissan’s best-known nameplate in the United States, is one of 20 new or redesigned products Nissan plans to introduce in this market within the next two years.
“Nissan is in a great position today. Sales are up, market share is increasing and our dealers have a great selection of 2012 Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs in inventory,” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. “This new Pathfinder Concept is just the beginning of a far-reaching wave of new products on the horizon for Nissan. By the end of 2012, more than 70 percent of our sales volume will be all-new or redesigned.”
Pathfinder Concept: Modern Design, 7-Passenger SUV Capabilities
At first glance, it is clear the Pathfinder Concept is a game-changer for the Nissan brand. The stylish fourth-generation Pathfinder design brings a new look and packaging that’s ideal for adventurous owners who need versatility and SUV capability without compromise. The sweeping character lines of the Pathfinder Concept give a hint of a design language that will carry through future Nissan models. The Pathfinder Concept also features innovative 3-row interior flexibility and room for seven passengers.
The new Pathfinder’s aerodynamic body is combined with a refined V6 engine and next-generation Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) to make it one of the most fuel-efficient 7-passenger vehicles on the market. It is projected to deliver an expected 25 percent increase in combined City/Highway fuel economy (over the previous V6-equipped design). In addition to offering an intuitive four-wheel-drive system, the new Pathfinder will also have towing capacity competitive with the leaders in the segment.
While the Pathfinder Concept making its world debut in Detroit provides a full glimpse of the exterior design direction the production vehicle will take, details on the interior and technology inside will have to wait. It is safe to say, however, that the next-gen Pathfinder’s roomy cabin will deliver innovation and class-above craftsmanship – with excellent legroom in all three rows and ample cargo room behind the 3rd row. Additional information will be available soon.