Nissan will have two concept vehicles at the Detroit auto show: a new version of the Pathfinder SUV, and an electric van. Though labeled a concept, the Pathfinder that will appear in Detroit previews the next generation model that goes on sale next year.
The Nissan Pathfinder was launched in 1986, and was last granted a redesign for the 2005 model year. The next-generation Pathfinder goes on sale in fall 2012, and all we know is that Nissan says the van will have an "all-new look, style and attitude." That could mean the Pathfinder's current styling (pictured) will turn away from its current masculine, boxy design to something curved and aerodynamic, like many other modern crossovers. We imagine one of the biggest changes will be with regard to the Pathfinder's engines, as the most efficient version of the current model only achieves 22 mpg on the highway. Buyers can currently choose from a 266-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 and a 310-hp, 5.6-liter V-8, with either rear- or all-wheel drive.
The electric van concept is meant to show Nissan's commitment to electric vehicles, although Nissan hints that the van previews a future production model. Given that it is designed to offer "flexible, roomy cargo space" suitable for businesses or families, we can reasonably expect both cargo and passenger versions of the van. It's possible the van will have some similarities to the NV200 electric van that recently began trials for FedEx in London. Nissan also showed some electric trucks and vans at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Finally, Nissan will bring an NV2500-based food truck to the Detroit show. Whereas the similar food trucks at the Los Angeles auto show dispensed ice cream cookies or grilled cheese sandwiches, Nissan promises the new one will serve "local Detroit flair."