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Detroit LIVE: Nissan Xmotion Concept

by Byron Hurd

Could we be seeing a preview of Nissan\'s next rugged SUV?

Nissan came to Detroit with a no-joke concept vehicle this year, eschewing the common mainstream practice of debuting "concepts" that are essentially production prototypes.

The Xmotion ("cross-motion," lest we get any ideas...) is ostensibly an exercise in designing for active lifestyle autonomy. More practically, it's a hint as to what Nissan has in store for its SUV and crossover lineup.

Hints of a new Xterra (not "cross-terra") have been floating around for several months, with signs pointing to a Beijing debut of the now-departed off-roader's reincarnation.

If we're lucky, the Xmotion may give us an idea of Nissan's exterior plans. We say "hopefully" because the photo that has been purported to be the new Xterra is... well... "disappointing" is an understatement.

The Xmotion, on the other hand, at least looks the part. Nissan's calling it a "4+2," which would make it more of a Pathfinder than a classic Xterra, though we like the idea of Discovery-style rear jumpseats in a trail-ready 4x4.

Picture this without the suicide doors and silly steering wheel and maybe--just maybe--we're in the ballpark.

That said, one could just as easily file down all of the angular bits, lower the ride height and ditch the knobby tires to create yet another suburban minivan alternative. Nissan's concept for the Xmotion is autonomy and mobility with a side of nature, which may be the extent of its ruggedness.

Live photos by Brian Williams.

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