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Nissan promises dramatic Pathfinder concept for Detroit

Nissan released a teaser photo of its new Pathfinder concept, to be shown at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Nissan Pathfinder concept
Nissan's Pathfinder concept teaser image reveals big, pontoonlike fenders. Nissan

As with many previews for the upcoming Detroit auto show, Nissan made few details of its new Pathfinder concept known.

The press release merely promises a new platform and aerodynamic body. The teaser photo for the Pathfinder concept released today reveals big fenders in the update to Nissan's seven-passenger SUV.

We bumped up the brightness of the released image to bring out more detail. The fenders show a particularly strong, pontoonlike design, sticking out from a body with a heavily contoured beltline. The side windows also look quite large, but the roofline looks conventional.

Nissan says the concept will feature "thoughtful technology, comfortable seating for seven, and ample cargo room," along with four-wheel drive. The current Pathfinder has three-row seating and four-wheel drive. Mention of a new platform suggests Nissan will move the vehicle from its current truck frame to a unibody design. It is possible that the new Pathfinder will share a platform with the Infiniti JX, unveiled at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Nissan noted that the new generation of the Pathfinder will go on sale next fall, as a 2013 model year. The concept shown in Detroit must be near production-ready.