New Nissan Pathfinder Concept Debuts With Futuristic Front-End Styling

Concept / 19 Comments

This new model is heading to production, and several clues suggest it could be electric.

Nissan has chosen the Shanghai Auto Show to unveil its new Pathfinder concept, a futuristic take on the brand's unwavering midsized SUV.

The bold front end incorporates the headlights into the prominent radiator grille. The design is reminiscent of more modern Hyundai products, such as the latest Tucson and the Santa Cruz. Aside from that, the Pathfinder concept resembles the version currently available in the United States. The side profile is just as fuss-free, perhaps even more basic, with a more traditional C-pillar treatment.

Elsewhere, we can see the concept shares the floating roof design. The rear is practically the same, with a light bar spanning the width of the rear fascia and large "Pathfinder" lettering.


Potential Electrified Underpinnings

The distinctive, aerodynamic alloys worn by the Pathfinder Concept are very similar to the wheels fitted to the Leaf EV, which was facelifted last year. This leads us to believe that this Pathfinder will debut as a fully-electric SUV, even though Nissan hasn't revealed any powertrain details.

Along with its alliance partners, Nissan plans to introduce 35 new electric models by the end of the decade. A battery-powered Pathfinder could form the foundation for electrified Renault and Mitsubishi crossovers, helping all three brands establish a foothold in the hotly-contested electric SUV segment.

This Pathfinder concept vehicle has been designed with the Chinese market in mind, meaning we may never see this vehicle reach our shores. Still, it could serve as a preview for a future Pathfinder facelift.

Nissan says the concept has been designed to "fit the lifestyle of active consumers," so we can expect all-wheel drive and some off-road capability.


Interior: The Gold Standard

The interior shares its basic architecture with a straightforward dashboard design but with some pretty slick upgrades we'd love to see in a production Pathfinder. Minimalist digital dials can be seen through the two-tone steering wheel. A touchscreen dominates the center console and is supported by a head-up display. Thankfully, Nissan has chosen to keep using physical climate control buttons, which should come as a relief to anybody who has driven a modern Volkswagen.

We anticipate the gold trimmings and white leather will make way for more sensible colors and materials. Like the existing Pathfinder, this Chinese market concept will be made available with three rows of seating.

If this is destined to be an electric vehicle, we wouldn't be surprised if its shares its electric underpinnings with the recently introduced Ariya; its CMF-EV platform is scalable for larger vehicles. If that's the case, we can expect a single-motor setup with 214 horsepower to kick off the range with a dual-motor 389-hp variant sitting at the summit.

Sadly, the Pathfinder Concept is aimed at the Chinese market, although if there's enough demand, some of its features may make it stateside.


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