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Nissan on snow patrol

 Published 9th February 2024
General Guides 

This winter appears to be more wet than cold. Famous last words, perhaps? But if the UK is suddenly plunged into another ice age over the next few months you’d better be prepared.

Now you’re thinking, ‘I know where this is going, it’s another one of those checklists for winter driving.’ Well, unless your winter checklist involves a Nissan X-Trail with tracks instead of wheels you would be wrong.

Nissan is bringing the all-wheel drive strengths of its unique e-4ORCE technology to European ski slopes this winter, with the creation of a specially modified X-Trail e-4ORCE for mountain rescue needs.

Under normal circumstances the Nissan X-Trail is a family-oriented SUV that’s been around in one form or another for over 20 years. It’s eminently practical, well-equipped, spacious, and comfortable. It’s also available with either 5 or 7 seats if you have an above average number of bottoms to accommodate.

The latest range also offers Nissan’s e-Power hybrid system. Unlike mild-hybrid versions which use a battery to supplement the power from the petrol engine to drive the wheels, the e-Power hybrid system uses its petrol supply for the sole purpose of constantly recharging the battery. The Nissan X-Trail e-Power is basically an EV with its own onboard power station under the bonnet.

And because the wheels are driven by electric motors it’s very easy to fit one on each axle to give the X-Trail all-wheel drive capability. The advanced twin-motor e-4ORCE all-wheel drive system is so clever it can react to changing levels of grip in 1/10,000th of a second, approximately 1,000 times quicker than a traditional all-wheel drive system, and it can adjust the distribution of power to the wheels individually, according to the available grip.

Bearing all of that in mind, what better way to prove the point than for Nissan to build an X-Trail to push the technology to the limit.

Nissan goes mountain rescue

The X-Trail Mountain Rescue X-Trail Mountain Rescue is actually supporting a campaign in five European ski resorts under the banner of "Ride Responsibly”, the aim being to reduce the risk of collision and encourage skiers to keep an eye on their speed.

The modifications to the X-Trail Mountain Rescue include the replacement of the wheels with snow tracks, removal of the rear seats to allow the installation of a stretcher, and a seat for a medical professional.

Wider wheel arches have been fitted to accommodate the tracks, while at the front the bumper has been enhanced to carry a winch. A reinforced towing hook has been added to the front and rear bumpers, and footboards have been included on the side to make it easier to climb in and out as the X-Trail rides 23cm higher on tracks than it does on regular wheels. A bespoke roof rack to carry an evacuation stretcher and snow shovels has also been added, alongside a siren, flashing light bar, and lots of powerful lights on the roof and bonnet.

None of which is actually much use on a weekday school run in the UK.

That being said, if you do lease yourself a Nissan X-Trail it’s nice to know that in the event of the unexpected arrival of the next ice age all you’ll need to head south for the winter is a set of tracks to build your ultimate off-road escape vehicle.

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