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Electric SUV future for Nissan Skyline?

New-generation Nissan Skyline tipped to follow Mustang Mach-E down electric SUV path

27 Jul 2023

NEWS out of Japan suggests Nissan will follow Ford’s Mustang Mach-E down the SUV path for its next Skyline performance model, expected to launch globally in 2025.


Like the Mach-E, strong rumours suggest the Skyline will be offered in three variants, although in contrast to the Ford, lower-spec versions could send power to their front wheels rather than being rear-wheel drive.


However, like the Mach-E, the range-topping Skyline will almost certainly be all-wheel drive.


A sedan/coupe for decades, the iconic Skyline will, according to informed Japanese sources including publication Bestcarweb, become a wagon or coupe-style ‘crossover’ carry-all in its imminent next iteration.


This means it will follow the pony car’s whisper quiet, porky path to personal mobility instead of being a brutal, rip snorting two- or four-door, petrol guzzling turbocharged rocketship that has made the Skyline nameplate legendary.


Rumours about the Skyline SUV switch are fuelled by web forum chatter that is predictably unfavourable about the idea.


According to Bestcarweb, the new Skyline is likely based on the electric Nissan Ariya medium SUV that is currently on sale in various markets around the world and due for Australia at some as-yet undetermined point in the future.


Extrapolating this Ariya information to a new Skyline, it may mean the entry-level front-wheel-drive model comes with a 160kW/300Nm single electric motor fed by a 63kWh battery.


In the 1800kg Ariya, this is good for a 403km claimed range and a 0-100km/h sprint in 7.5 seconds with a V-max of 160km/h.


Like the Mach-E, mid-spec Ariya benefits from a modestly more powerful 178kW/300Nm motor but is again saddled with front-wheel drive, while an 87kWh battery ups range to a claimed 530km.


The weight of this bigger battery is not offset by the extra power and torque, making this model slower than the cheaper model at 7.6 seconds for the 0-100km/h sprint.


At the top of the Ariya (and possibly Skyline) line-up is an all-wheel drive ’E-4orce’ variant fitted with dual electric motors that deliver a combined 225kW and 600Nm to enable a 0–100km/h sprint in 5.7 seconds.


Extra weight and performance from the additional motor reduces range to a possible 500km from the 87kWh battery.


Compared with the Mach-E line-up that starts with 198kW/430Nm and tops out with 358kW/860Nm, the Ariya is considerably less powerful than Mustang Mach-E across the model range – although this is easily addressed by swapping in some beefier electric motors and the Skyline is expected to develop 330kW in dual-motor guise.


Speculation and intel coming out of Japan seems to strongly suggest the Skyline will start a new era in crossover format.


Bestcarweb says “there is no definitive information on the design, but it is expected to be a coupe SUV with Infiniti influences”.


The website reports that speculation abounds on the next generation Skyline that “has been twisted and twisted, but it will be transformed into a BEV crossover and will appear in 2025”.


Our translation of the web story tells us “development of the traditional sedan has been frozen”.


“Reborn as a BEV, Skyline will begin a new history.” 


The model is expected to be sold in North America, where it will wear an Infiniti badge.

Reiterating the likely specification of a new Skyline, Bestcarweb says, “The next model is likely to feature the E-4orce (4WD) of Ariya's advanced grade "B9" with power up around the 330kW mark through front and rear motors. 

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