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Nissan Rogue SUV, Bevel Concept

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Nissan Bevel Concept Photo: Sean Frego
By Alex Popple
Nissan unveils a futuristic crossover concept and breaks into the compact SUV market with the new Rogue.
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Nissan Bevel Concept Photo: Sean Frego
The passenger side has a rear-hinged back door. Photo: Sean Frego
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Nissan Bevel Concept Photo: Sean Frego
Inside the Bevel rests a beautiful scale model of a glider, with its wings stowed in a special holder. Photo: Sean Frego
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Nissan Bevel Concept Photo: Sean Frego
Bevel's driver's "command center" features a steering yoke and ribbon-like instrument panel. Photo: Sean Frego
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2008 Nissan Rogue Photo: Sean Frego
Nissan Rogue's face is similar to its larger sibling, the Murano Photo: Sean Frego
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2008 Nissan Rogue Photo: Sean Frego
Side view of the Rogue shows off its trapezoidal side windows Photo: Sean Frego

The Bevel concept is the latest in a line of outlandish Nissan crossover concepts. It’s similar in size to a compact SUV but has a completely different market in mindthe empty-nester who has the time and money to indulge hisprobably not her, according to the demographics gurus at Nissanpassions.

 

An Edgy Bevel

Bevel is boxy, with a squared-off hood and rear, and flat minimally styled body panels. The driver’s side has a single, large door, while the passenger gets two doorsthe front one opens conventionally, while the aft door is rear-hinged. Similarly asymmetrical is the glass roof panel that lets light flood into the interior.

 

Message Board: Is this what SUVs will look like in the future? Voice your opinion!

 

The windowless cargo area is half-van, half-wagon, while the tailgate features a fold-down work platform and along with a 110-volt power outlet supplied by a solar panel. The interior features highly flexible seating allowing for varying loads and there’s even an integrated “doggie hutch” to meet your pet transportation needs.

 

The driver sits in a “command center” behind a 50s-style yoke where he enjoys the benefit of five variable function display panels arranged in a “ribbon” like display module. Bevel's drive-by-wire technology uses a computer system to manage the steering, braking and the hybrid powerplant’s throttle in response to the driver’s control inputs. Front and rear exterior lights are eccentrically scattered hidden LCDs, while bulky door mirrors are replaced by tiny TV cameras.

 

A Rogue for All Seasons

In contrast to the far-reaching Bevel, the new Rogue compact SUV’s attractive crossover styling is strongly reminiscent of the larger Murano, sharing its distinctive back-sloping grille, vertical indicator strips, and trapezoidal side window shapes. Nissan spokespeople don’t want you to think of this as a downsized Murano, but a more compact version of that impressive vehicle is exactly what it looks like.

 

The Rogue is aimed squarely at young family buyers who want to keep a sense of rugged style and independence, but whose day-to-day lives now demand a car offering more space and flexibility.

 

Nissan North America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Brad Bradshaw put it like this at the press conference: “Don’t leave behind the person you’ve always been just because your life has changed a bit.”

 

The Rogue will be equipped with a four-cylinder 2.5-liter engine developing 170 horsepower, along with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Buyers will be able to choose between more efficient front-wheel drive and go-anywhere 4-wheel drive. Equipment includes traction and stability control systems, ABS and brake force distribution. The extensive options list includes an upscale Bose audio system, leather interior, xenon headlights and much more.

 

On sale in September, the Rogue will be priced around the $20,000 mark.

 

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