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Nissan teases next-gen Qashqai, e-Power coming

Nissan’s new Qashqai to sport heap of new tech, including e-Power for green motoring

16 Nov 2020

NISSAN has released the first teaser images of its next-generation Qashqai small SUV with the compact high-rider due to be officially unveiled in the spring of 2021.


While no market introduction details have been revealed as yet, Nissan has released some of the key specification details of the new Qashqai which will ride on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s new CMF-C platform.


Set to retain its familiar dimensions which Nissan describe as being “just right”, the new Qashqai’s body structure is claimed to be 41 per cent stiffer than the current model and thanks to the extensive use of aluminium and other weight-saving measures, 60kg lighter.


Under the skin, the new model will boast an updated Macpherson strut front suspension set-up while the rear will depend on wheel size and drive type.


On front-wheel-drive versions fitted with wheels up to 19 inches, rear suspension duties will be catered for exclusively by a torsion beam set-up while those with 20-inch wheels and/or all-wheel-drive will score an independent arrangement, the latter offering a claimed “best-in-segment balance between ride comfort and dynamic response”.


Propulsion will come from the choice of two powertrains, the first being a 1.3-litre petrol engine available in two different tunes with varying outputs – yet to be revealed – paired with a mild-hybrid system (MHEV) and the other being Nissan’s new e-Power electric motor system.


Unlike a traditional electric vehicle, the e-Powered Qashqais will still feature an internal combustion engine which, unlike in a normal hybrid, will solely serve to maintain charge levels of the lithium-ion batteries and not be connected to the wheels.


Nissan says the electric motors will be the same size as those found on a pure EV, resulting in a distinctly similar driving experience and power delivery.


Just like the 1.3-litre petrol engine, specifics are yet to be detailed with all to be revealed in the lead-up to the new Qashqai’s launch.


Safety will also take a big step up with the new model, tipped by Nissan to launch with the next generation of ProPilot driver assistance systems.


Dubbed ‘ProPilot with Navi-link’, the system boasts advanced automatic cruise control with stop and go function and speed sign recognition, lane centring and lane keep assist, advanced blind spot assist, flank protection warning and moving object detection alert.


According to Nissan Europe vice-president of product planning Marco Fioravanti, ProPilot is one of Nissan’s “most well appreciated innovations on the current Qashqai,” he said.


“Customers love how it seamlessly supports the driver in maintaining a smooth, precise and secure drive, particularly in busy traffic conditions, at night or in bad weather.


“We are excited to elevate that feeling of convenience and confidence thanks to the great additional functions of ProPilot with Navi-link on the forthcoming Qashqai.”


Multi-beam LED headlights are also set to be offered with an advanced form of automatic high beam designed to reduce the dazzling effect on the drivers of oncoming vehicles while still providing a wider and long field of illumination.


It is hard to draw conclusions at this stage as to what the new Qashqai will look like other than its rough (familiar) dimensions with all current teaser images depicting heavily camouflaged prototypes, however there are a few key features we can make out.


First of all is the now-defunct Murano-inspired headlights poking out from behind the camouflage, set reasonably low down in the front fascia but not to the same extent as a Hyundai Kona.


In between the headlight clusters is the familiar boxy grille flanked by two sloped trim inserts we expect to be chromed.


The chunky C-pillars also make a return while the tailgate retains its signature curved shape.


Nissan Africa, Middle East, India, Europe and Oceania (AMIEO) regional chairman Gianluca de Ficchy said the new Qashqai would change customer expectations of a family car going forward.


“Comfort, refinement and technology will be from higher categories of car, while the driving experience will satisfy drivers and passengers alike,” he said.


“With Nissan’s bold e-POWER technology, we feel that customers will fall in love with the feeling of an electric powertrain, without the range concerns.”


Nissan Australia has sold 5628 examples of the current-generation Qashqai so far this year ending October, accounting for 7.5 per cent of the sub-$40,000 small SUV segment.

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