The Rogue Trail Warrior is one of two exclusive concepts destined to make its global debut on Nissan's New York Auto Show stand this week. And thanks to its camouflaged exterior finish, plus its jettisoning of traditional wheels in favour of caterpillar tracks, it's bound to grab a huge amount of attention.
The car has a very militaristic feel thanks not only to its 'camo' wrapped body, but also the yellow tinted glass typically found on US forces vehicles on desert missions.
The sand-colored caterpillar track system with an individual track wheel at each corner is designed for safely negotiating sand and snow, while the custom suspension system and increased ride height -- each track unit stands 76cm high -- should also ensure safe passage over the rockiest of terrain.
"This new Rogue Trail Warrior adds a new dimension to family adventures with its snow/sand tracks, gear basket, winch and camo paint," said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc.
The lengths that this concept is going to in order to stand out from the crowd may seem extreme. But the fact is that SUV sales continue to soar, even as other areas of the car market are starting to contract, meaning that it's getting harder and harder for a driver to express individuality while being on trend.
The Rogue is Nissan's biggest-selling vehicle, snapped up by 101,180 Americans over the first quarter of 2017 alone, according to the latest Jato Dynamics data.
The firm's figures also show that 58% of all vehicle sales between January and March 2017 were SUVs, trucks and vans (up from 53% in Q1of 2016).
According to rival Ford's data and forecasts, 45% of all non-premium automotive sales in the next five years will be of the SUV variety. The demand will continue because the youngest and oldest demographics are both thoroughly in love with crossovers and off-roaders. "Two sets of consumers -- millennials and baby boomers -- are driving this growth," said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, US marketing, sales and service.
The baby boomer generation buys almost 30% of all small SUVs sold in the US. At the same time the 35-44-year-old demographic is turning more and more towards medium and large SUVs, rather than traditional sedans or MPVs.
"In the 1990s, SUVs defined the unstoppable American spirit, and once again, we're seeing a utility boom take hold with a whole new generation of customers," said LaNeve.A