Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nissan Qazana: Coming to America?

It sure looks that way. At least in one form or another. First introduced at the Geneva Auto Show in early '09 the Qazana is a small crossover SUV taking design cues (per the designer) from beach buggies and motorcycles. It sure looks different. It reminds me of the Isuzu Vehicross from a few years back.

A Nissan contact of mine has indicated that after the Qazana makes its appearance at the Tokyo Auto Show in the next few weeks that it will likely be showing up at the LA Auto Show later this year. For a vehicle that many looked at as just a concept and platform to try out future products, Nissan has hinted all along that much of this vehicle (up to 85%) would make its way to a showroom product. In fact, English papers are reporting that the Qazana will begin to be produced there in the Sunderland plant in late '10 as a '11 model. Whether this is true or not I do not know. My contact did not indicate this one way or another.

What my contact did reveal was that Nissan is bringing the concept version of the Qazana around to auto shows worldwide to guage interest in each market. Given the direction some of Nissan's product has taken of late, I take this project as a stroke of genius. Though as a Chinese saying says "the first nail to stick its head up is the first to get hammered down" I applaud the designers here for not taking the safe route. I personally hope the final product incorporates even more of the beach buggie design cues and not less. Last but not least...could we be looking at the Rogue replacement that I was told a few months back that was in the works?? Would it arrive under an entirely new name or could it just be a 2nd Gen Rogue??

Not sure but I will keep updating this story and look out for its appearance at the LA Auto Show (I think...)

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