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First look: Nissan's next Pathfinder?

Tough stuff: Nissan's new look is clear to see in the face of the Dunehawk concept.

Nissan's plan to revitalise the Pathfinder takes a big step forward at Frankfurt

18 Sep 2003

AT a Frankfurt motor show dominated by traditional sports cars and sedans, Nissan went against the tide, revealing the Dunehawk 4WD concept.

Much more than just a flight of fancy, it is widely expected to morph into the next generation Nissan Pathfinder due in late 2004 or early 2005.

Equipped with a second generation of Nissan’s All Mode 4x4 system, the Dunehawk is also roughly the same size as a Mitsubishi Pajero or Toyota Prado and has seven seats spread over three rows, the second and third row folding flat.

That's a key step forward from the current Pathfinder's five-seat arrangement.

Another big improvement should be the move to a 4.0-litre V6 engine from the current 125kW 3.3-litre unit, which lacks the performance ability of many rivals.

But one thing stays the same and that's a commitment to off-roading ability, as Dunehawk's retains a ladder-type chassis, rather than car-like monocoque.

In terms of styling, the Dunehawk collects the aggressive look of the US-built Titan full-sized pick-up and Pathfinder Armada SUV.

The current Pathfinder has been on-sale in Australia since 1995 and has proved a success story with consistently strong sales.

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