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Nissan lines up new Qashqai

Shaping up: Nissan is talking up its all-new Qashqai that will replace the first-generation Dualis in Australia next year.

New Qashqai to be “Nissan’s most significant car in its modern history”

Nissan logo29 Oct 2013

By RON HAMMERTON

NISSAN today started a 10-day countdown to the global public debut of its new British-made Qashqai – the artist formerly known in Australia as Dualis – by releasing a teaser image of the next-generation compact SUV.

Describing the second-generation Qashqai as the most significant car in its modern history, Nissan’s sketch revealed lines similar to the new X-Trail that was revealed in production form at the recent Frankfurt motor show.

The company claims the Qashqai has been reinvented from the ground up and will push the boundaries of design and innovation, “ushering in sector-first technologies and introducing fresh thinking in every area”.

“From advanced aerodynamics to state-of-the-art cabin infotainment systems, the new Qashqai represents Nissan at its most creative,” Nissan says in a media release accompanying the image.

The 2014 Qashqai is set to be unveiled on November 7 ahead of its public debut at the Tokyo motor show later in the month and a 2014 global roll-out that includes Australia in the second quarter of next year.

Here, Nissan is set to dump the Dualis badge and fall into line with the Qashqai tag used in Europe and elsewhere.

The arrival of the Qashqai will cap a huge six months in SUVs for Nissan Australia. This month, the company is launching not one but SUVs – the Juke compact crossover and American-made Pathfinder large SUV.

Next year, the all-new X-Trail will arrive in the second quarter, around the same time as the smaller Qashqai and a hybrid version of the Pathfinder.

Britain’s Autocar speculates that the new Qashqai will be armed with a new 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine. In Australia, this engine is likely to replace the current naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine sold in Dualis alongside an alternative 1.6-litre diesel.

Over the past few years, Dualis has been a mainstay of Nissan’s passenger car range in the absence of a strong-performing small car.

The arrival of Pulsar this year has changed that dynamic, impacting Dualis sales in recent months. However, the company still sold 10,155 Dualis units to the end of September, just a few hundred behind Pulsar.

Like the current Dualis and new Juke, the Qashqai is expected to be imported from Nissan UK’s Sunderland factory in the north of England.

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