Nissan announces all new X-TRAIL
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., yesterday unveiled its all-new, next generation X-TRAIL at the 2007 International Geneva Motor Show. Building on the huge success enjoyed by the first generation X-TRAIL, the new model boasts improved performance, convenience, comfort, quality, and lower consumption and emissions. Research conducted among existing X-TRAIL owners showed consistently that they loved its practicality, design, ease of use and performance.
Speaking at the Nissan press conference where the new X-TRAIL was unveiled, Carlos Tavares, executive vice president for corporate strategy and product planning, said: “Customers love X-TRAIL’s convenience, its practicality, its strong performance and off-road capability. When we planned the new X-TRAIL, we were determined to keep those X-TRAIL roots, but enhance the entire vehicle.”
Although X-TRAIL has been completely restyled, the robust, strong shape was popular and well appreciated. It was clear that the “X-TRAILness” had to be retained, which is why there is a clear family resemblance between the original and the new version. Key design cues, such as the solid shoulder line, deep glasshouse and static window line, have been transferred to the newcomer. The squared off appearance gives practical benefits too – with maximised interior space and the feeling of reassurance which is important to buyers.
In terms of exterior design, strength is conveyed by the deep D-pillar behind the revised profile of the rearmost side window, by the extended wheel-arches and by the tough grille, which echoes the style found across Nissan’s 4x4 range.
Customers of the new X-TRAIL will be used to premium levels of quality, fit, finish and comfort, so Nissan’s designers have created an interior which is both high quality and comfortable, but at the same time convenient and practical.
Soft feel materials feature on all touch points, while grained plastics and flocked surfaces in contrasting shades – black and grey or black and sand – are used throughout the cockpit. Depending on the trim level, instrument surrounds and other features are finished in silver or titanium colours to give a technical feel.
And as with other recent Nissan models, X-TRAIL has been created with versatility and practicality uppermost. Positioning the instrument cluster behind the multi-function steering wheel has allowed greater versatility in the centre console, which can now house a larger navigation screen closer to eye level as well as providing space for an in-dash multi disc CD changer.
Larger, more flexible trunk
Perhaps the most versatile aspect of the new X-TRAIL is the trunk, however. With the rear seat in place, the new X-TRAIL’s trunk is now 555-litres, an increase of 145-litres.
This extra space has allowed the creation of an innovative double-deck trunk, with space for a sliding drawer under the floor where valuable items can be stored away from prying eyes.
The drawer has partition walls that can be placed in a number of different positions or removed altogether as required. The floor and the drawer can both be removed to increase load space even further: as a result the trunk area of the new X-TRAIL is deeper and wider than the original and with it removed, trunk height is increased by 127mm over the original.
Upgraded ALL MODE 4x4 system
The new X-TRAIL uses an enhanced version of Nissan’s renowned four-wheel drive system, ALL MODE. Among the other highlights of ALL-MODE 4x4i, as it is now known, are DDS and USS, standing for Downhill Drive Support and Uphill Start Support. USS is a fully automatic system that activates on any slope that exceeds a 10 per cent incline, holding the vehicle on the brakes until the driver starts to move away.
DDS – operated via a switch on the centre console – operates when ALL-MODE is in lock mode. DDS uses the anti-lock brakes to maintain a descent speed of 7km/h, allowing the driver to concentrate on steering.
The new X-TRAIL shares the same platform – the Alliance C-platform - as the recently launched Nissan Qashqai. The platform features strut-type suspension at the front with a multi-link system at the rear, both ends being mounted on separate rubber insulated sub-frames providing enhanced refinement and isolation from vibrations.
As a result, new X-TRAIL is slightly larger than before: its wheelbase has increased by 5mm to 2630mm, while overall length has risen by 175mm to 4630mm.
Tavares said: “The new X-TRAIL unmistakably and proudly retains the core strengths of the original model . . . and we’ve improved it in every sense. We’ve taken the core X-TRAIL concept to even higher levels of performance, capability, and craftsmanship.”
The new X-TRAIL will continue to be manufactured at Nissan’s plant in Kysuhu, Japan. European sales will start in the summer – the first region to introduce it.