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Nissan Crosses Over with Rogue, Bevel

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2008 Nissan Rogue

2008 Nissan Rogue

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Brad Bradshaw, Nissan’s president for marketing inNorth America, introduced the Rogue, a sleek new compact crossover vehicle that’s more aggressively styled inside and out than competitors like the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and Toyota RAV4.

 

The Rogue is aimed at younger people “who are crossing over into additional responsibility,” according to Bradshaw. Along with the expected fold-down back seats, the front passenger seat also folds flat, and there’s also a “one-touch,” foldable cargo organizer.

 

A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, paired with a CVT automatic, is the only powertrain combination available on the Rogue, which has either standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. A paddle-shifter feature allows the driver to click through a range of ‘gears’ via the CVT.

 

The Rogue is expected to go on sale this fall as an ’08 model, at a price of around $20,000.

 

Bradshaw also introduced the Bevel, an oddly shaped, oddly styled crossover concept vehicle aimed at older empty-nester men. With elements of a small van and a compact car, the Bevel’s features are centered around high utility and flexible cargo-carrying. The gray-plastic seats fold flat, front and back, and the one-piece hatch allows a very large cargo opening. Ride height is rather low, and a tailgate work platform folds out for projects. The roof also has cargo-carrying ‘pucks’, which could be used to tie down or secure extra cargo.

 

vintage tow truck

vintage tow truck

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The asymmetrical grille in front looks a little Jetsons retro-futuristic, with a matte-metallic material with holes throughout, reminding us of old audio equipment. The very unique grill has hidden LCD headlights

 

Throttle, braking, and steering are all drive-by-wire, and, according to Bradshaw, the Bevel would be powered by an efficient hybrid-electric powertrain. Solar panels are built into the roof, apparently for charging the hybrid system. And — this looked downright funny — rubber inserts on the wheel spokes are intended to avoid damage.

 

Judging from the reactions of the press around us — both to the demographics and the style of the vehicle itself — a vehicle like the Bevel may be a hard sell.

Related Articles

 

2008 Nissan Rogue Preview by Marty Padgett (12/28/2006)
A latecomer to the cute-ute party arrives in style.

 

2007 Nissan Bevel Concept by TCC Team (1/7/2007)
Nissan pushes the envelope with a not-quite SUV.

 

2007 Detroit Auto Show Coverage by TCC Team (1/7/2007)
Lights, cameras, Cobo – action.

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