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Not Over At Nissan

March 18, 2005

Nissan has been extremely busy since 2002.  In the span of three years, it has introduced a slew of new models and completely redesigned all but one of its existing products.

All New Models:

  • Nissan Titan – A full-size, honest-to-goodness pickup truck
  • Nissan Armada – A full-size SUV built off the Titan’s F-Alpha platform.
  • Nissan Murano – A sleek car-based, urban SUV
  • Nissan 350Z – Two-door sports coupe that wears the legendary "Z" badge.

Redesigns:

  • Nissan Altima – Nissan’s mid-size sedan got a makeover in 2002, and now competes on equal footing with the likes of the Accord and Camry.
  • Nissan Maxima – Bumped out by the larger Altima, the Maxima has been redesigned as a more upscale "sport" sedan.  Sales were slow at first, but they are picking up.
  • Nissan Quest – Nissan somehow made a minivan look cool.  Unfortunately, cool and minivan don’t really belong together.  Sales have lagged behind expectations. 
  • Nissan Pathfinder – The venerable SUV abandoned a unibody design in favor of a shrunken F-Alpha boxed frame.  The new P-Finder has been a smash hit since first hitting dealer lots last fall.
  • Nissan Frontier – The compact pickup grew in size and power.  It shares the look of the larger Titan.
  • Nissan Xterra – Redesigned alongside the Frontier and P-Finder and sharing their new drivetrains, but still retaining the old attitude that made the first generation Xterra such a success.

The only Nissan vehicle left behind in this product blitz has been the compact Sentra.  A replacement is reportedly on its way, but has been delayed to address styling concerns (focus groups hated it).

Nissan could be content to pump out the new Sentra and call it quits for awhile, but they are charging right ahead.  Rumors of a new X-Trail (think of it as a mini-Xterra) abound, and company execs have made it perfectly clear that they are going to be bringing some smaller cars to our shores to fight Toyota’s Scion brand.  One of those cars is debuting in concept form next week in New York.  I give you the Nissan Sport Concept.

Nissan_sport_concept

More pictures are available over at Autoblog

I can’t put my finger on it, but I love this little car.  Then again, I’ve got a weak spot for hatchbacks.  But this…it looks like Nissan’s take on the Mazda3.  I have some qualms with a few stylistic choices (the weird openings in front of the doors, the sterility-inducing seats), but I love the idea and the overall look.

And, as I said over on Autoblog, I keep thinking it looks like a Transformer.

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