Patent filings have given us plenty of early glimpses at future cars recently, but generally speaking, we tend to know what we're looking at. What we're seeing here is obviously an upcoming Nissan utility vehicle based largely on the 2012 Hi-Cross Concept, but other than that, there's really no information. Our best guess is that this is a peak at the next-generation X-TrailNissan's small, rugged crossover that isn't currently available in the US.

From concept to the patent phase, we see the arched front fenders and stylized D-pillars are almost identical, but we also get a look at some of the production-friendly design elements such as the front and rear fascias and the liftgate. No word on when we might see a production version of this crossover, but with the Hi-Cross having debuted at the Geneva Motor Show last year, maybe Nissan will follow that up with the road-ready version of the crossover at this year's show in March.

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