The best way to get somewhere in the snow is with tracks. This is why Nissan has fitted a set of four tracks to the X-Trail to create a mountain rescue machine. It’s ready to retrieve downed skiers, with room for a stretcher and a seat for a medic.
The Mountain Rescue starts with a Nissan X-Trail. The X-Trail is the same crossover we’d call the Nissan Rogue on this side of the pond.
The European X-Trail offers one thing the Rogue doesn’t: e-4ORCE.
That’s the hard-to-say and harder-to-spell name Nissan uses for its AWD system when the power comes from electric motors instead of a gas engine. The X-Trail e-4ORCE comes with a hybrid driveline called e-Power, which is essentially the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV‘s system without the big battery (the two vehicles are closely related under the skin).
Unlike a PHEV, it doesn’t plug into a wall. Instead, a 1.5L three-cylinder recharges the smaller battery and powers the motors. The electric motors drive the wheels — in this case, the tracks — in nearly every situation.
Nissan Rogue Makes Tracks
The X-Trail Mountain Rescue sits 9 inches taller than stock, thanks to the tracks at each corner. Fitting them means immense fender flares, with cutouts front and back to help clear the bodywork.
Nissan removed all but the driver’s seat to make space for cargo. There are radios and chargers where the front passenger would sit, a stretcher taking up the rest of the right-hand side of the cabin, and boxes for storage and gear. A rear-facing jumpseat has been added behind the driver so that anyone in the stretcher can be cared for by a medic.
Flashing lights and sirens outside help get any skiers out of the way. Lights mounted to the roof help with rescue efforts and on-piste first aid. There are oxygen tanks and beacon locators in the back for serious emergencies.
Long History of Tracked Nissans
Nissan loves replacing wheels with tracks to build awesome show cars. No, we’re not sure why either, but with models like the 370Ski, Rogue Warrior, and the Altima-te AWD, we’re not going to complain. Plus, they all work.
Nissan has let plenty of drivers behind the wheel of these absurd contraptions. The latest in this proud tradition comes not from Nissan’s U.S. team but from Nissan in Europe.
X-Trail Mountain Rescue Promotes Ski Safety
The purpose of the Nissan X-Trail Mountain Rescue is twofold. One is to show off the company’s AWD system, which can react much faster than a mechanical system. One thousand times faster, Nissan says. The second is to support safer skiing.
Nissan is supporting five European ski resorts with a Ride Responsibly campaign. Nissan will use digital signs at sketchy slope intersections. Like those “slow down” signs posted in neighborhoods, the signs will scold or praise riders for their speeds in the areas. Nissan also made the video that shows off the Mountain Rescue with a reminder that the best rescue vehicle is the one you don’t need.
No, the X-Trail Mountain Rescue won’t ever actually rescue any skiers. Not likely, at least. Instead, it will live for the season in a glass box at the Cervinia ski resort in the Italian Alps. But at least it works, and that’s pretty cool on Nissan’s part.