For Snowcat Lovers: Nissan’s Tracked Trio

Didn’t you always want to drive the snowcat that groomed the slopes when you went skiing as a kid? Nissan understands this age-old fantasy and is using it to promote its SUVs and crossovers during the Chicago Auto Show.

The carmaker rolled out tracked versions of its Pathfinder, Murano and Rogue vehicles that glide across the top of snow instead of sinking in – just like the familiar snowcats that you never quite got your hands on.

A snowcat, similarly equipped with four tracks. It is still among my unfulfilled driving fantasies, along with a steam locomotive and a Ferrari 312T.

It doesn’t look like you’ll be driving the Nissan version, either. The company said the vehicles, which it calls Winter Warriors, are “one-off” concepts mainly aimed at touting four-wheel-drive technology that is available at dealerships. Besides, while tracks are great for cruising slowly over deep snow, their sketchy high-speed performance on the road might have you wishing for a set of conventional winter tires.

While the modified Nissan vehicles use custom heavy-duty track systems – called Dominators – from American Track Truck, Inc. with souped-up suspensions, their engines, transmissions and other drive-train parts are stock, Nissan said.

Nissan Winter Warrior in action.

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