"Nissan created the crossover segment with the Murano and has expanded the genre with top selling cars like the Qashqai (Dualis) and Juke (not offered in Australia)," Nissan Vice President, Andy Palmer said.
"The Hi-Cross Concept shows we are not sitting still, resting on our laurels, but exploring ways of cementing our crossover leadership by exploring new ideas."
The Hi-Cross is larger than the current second-gen X-Trail in almost every direction, measuring 30mm longer, 55mm wider and riding on a 151mm longer wheelbase. Only in height does the X-Trail have it beat, measuring 30mm taller.
Power for the Hi-Cross is provided by a hybrid powertrain, pairing a 2.0 litre direct-injected petrol engine with the latest generation of Nissan's electric motor technology and a lithium-ion battery pack.
The new hybrid tech has been developed for front-wheel-drive cars, but in the case of the Hi-Cross, power can be sent to all four wheels in a part-time all-wheel-drive arrangement.
The hybrid sytem is mated to Nissan's new XTronic CVT automatic transmission, and Nissan says that the powertrain's overall performance is comparable with a 2.5 litre petrol engine (exact figures have not been offered).
While Nissan has yet to reveal its plans for the Hi-Cross, it is likely that this new concept offers a look at the next-generation X-Trail. Whether the two-generations-old X-Trail name will live on, however, remains to be seen.
"Although this is purely a concept car, exploring potential ideas for the future, there is no ambiguity about its purpose. It is a high-riding crossover, hence its name: Hi-Cross Concept," Nissan product boss François Bancon said.
"But the name does more than refer to its shape. The ‘Hi' refers equally to the idea of extended value, to the levels of innovation found in the drivetrain and, of course, to the excitement promised from the behind the wheel."