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Auto blogMon, 01 Apr 2013 14:58:00 EST
Over the past few months, we've talked a lot about how our long-term 2013 Nissan Pathfinder functions as a daily-driver, long-hauler and all-weather warrior. And so far, it's earning high praise from most of us for being a well-rounded, pleasant vehicle in these regards. But the vast majority of people who actually go out and buy a Pathfinder will do so because of its people-and-stuff-carrying abilities. Nissan specifically engineered the new Pathfinder to be a softer, more widely appealing crossover than the sort of rugged SUV that it was before, and in doing so, the company is hoping its new CUV will find homes in the garages of many American families.
We needed to get some family impressions of the new Pathfinder, and fast.
Thing is, many of us Autobloggers live the kid-free life - at least that's true of most of us in the Detroit area where the Pathfinder currently resides. We have no doubts that the Pathfinder will get a proper family road trip workout from west coast editor Michael Harley after it shuffles over to the left side of the country, and it might also do a jaunt to North Carolina this summer with executive editor Chris Paukert and his family before it leaves the area, but in the meantime, we needed to get some family impressions of the new Pathfinder, and fast.
The next-generation of the not-for-US-consumption Nissan Qashqai has been out doing some testing in southern Europe this week. And, if the dressed-in-trash-bags look is any indication, it's been doing a lot of roadwork so it can make weight for the big meet the weekend.
Nissan designers haven't been scared to take big design chances with recent new models, so expectations are that the Qashqai crossover will get a bold new visage for its generational changeover. What we see in these photos indicates a sleeker, slightly trimmer CUV however, with no trace of the bug-eyed look we captured recently on a testing Titan.
In the rest of the world, it's a good bet that the Qashqai will be powered by engines ranging from a 1.2-liter turbo up to a 1.6-liter forced-induction unit; that larger one good for something like 215 horsepower. Diesel powerplants will be in the mix, too, for the compact CUV, and word is that Nismo might get its hands on this Rogue cousin for the first time ever.
Nismo, the motorsports and high-performance arm of Nissan, has a lot of racing success to celebrate in its history and possibly even bigger accomplishments to look forward to. The company is commemorating its 30th anniversary with a video looking back at its most important milestones from each year of its past.
Nismo's job first and foremost at its genesis was to excel at motorsports. It wasn't too long after the division was founded in 1984 that the company made its first of many attempts to take an overall victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It never quite succeeded in that goal, but still managed to do well in long-distance competition elsewhere. At the same time, Nismo was racking up wins in touring car races in Japan.
Eventually, the division's engineers started dipping their toes into tuning road cars, in addition to going racing. What began as something sporadic has become a growing part of the Nissan lineup with Nismo-branded models of the 370Z, Juke, Note in Europe and the GT-R.