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by Tim Beissmann

The production version of the all-new Nissan Pathfinder has been revealed online ahead of the urbanised SUV’s upcoming overseas launch.

The first official images of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder, uploaded to the manufacturer’s Facebook page, confirm the fourth-generation 4×4 will be almost identical to the Pathfinder Concept that debuted at January’s Detroit motor show.

The softer, more rounded styling of the new seven-seater highlights a philosophy shift that sees the Pathfinder move away from its singular off-road focus towards a more urban-friendly, family SUV emphasis.

Along with the new styling, the fourth-generation model will also become the first Pathfinder to adopt a car-like monocoque construction in place of the current model’s traditional 4WD body-on-frame chassis that is shared with the Navara ute.

The Pathfinder’s new underpinnings, which mirror the construction of the Camry-based Toyota Kluger and the Falcon-based Ford Territory, slash 227kg from the vehicle’s weight, promising significant improvements to fuel economy and on-road dynamics.

While the car is set to hit North American showrooms in the coming months, Nissan Australia is yet to finalise the timing of the Pathfinder’s local launch, admitting it is still at least 12 months away and no certainty to arrive before the end of 2013.

Nissan has not released official images of the 2013 Pathfinder’s interior, but given the similarities between the exterior of the concept and the production model, we expect the more refined cabin design to also carry over essentially unchanged to production.

The 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine from the Detroit concept is likely to headline the powertrain options in Australia, potentially teamed with the brand’s new continuously variable transmission (CVT), which could lead to a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 25 per cent compared with the outgoing model.




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