Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
2 minute read
15 Dec 2020
2:34 pm

Nissan rules-out plug-in hybrid new Qashqai as interior is teased

Charl Bosch

For the first time since debuting in 2006, the Qashqai will not have the option of a diesel engine.

Pre-production Nissan Qashaqi

On course to make its long awaited debut in April next year, Nissan has indicated that the al-new, third generation Qashqai won’t come with the option of a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

“I can’t guarantee it will be the best in terms of CO2, but it is the best in terms of affordability, drivability, performance and economy as a balance,” Nissan Product Planning Head, Marco Fioravanti, was quoted by Britain’s Autocar as saying.

Originally forecasted to have bowed this year, the Qashqai, which will move to the CMF-C platform and weigh 60 kg less than the soon-to-be-outgoing model, will, according to the publication, feature a 25 mm longer wheelbase while standing 25 mm taller, have a width increased by 32 mm and a wheelbase stretched by 20 mm.

Set to have a boot capable of swallowing 500-litres with the rear seats up, the X-Trail and Juke inspired exterior will be offset by a new interior featuring not only a new nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but also a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a ‘segment-leading’ 10.8-inch colour Heads-Up, the same block gear lever as the X-Trail and on top-spec models, a Bose sound system plus massaging seats.

Despite sister brand Renault confirming availability of the coupe-styled Arkana on Old Continent and Australian shores next year, Fioravanti indicated that no similar plans are in store for the Qashqai, confirming to the publication that, “we don’t see the need today. The audience of Qashqai is very wide. We think we have made the standard car dynamic and elegant.”

As before, both front-and-all-wheel-drive will be offered with the former getting a torsion-beam rear suspension and the latter a multi-link arrangement, but unlike the current model, only a single petrol engine with a 12-volt mild-hybrid system will be available; the Daimler co-developed 1.3-litre turbo rated at 103 kW on two-wheel-drive models fitted with the six-speed manual gearbox and 115 kW on CVT derivatives.

Replacing the seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box the engine is currently paired to on European models, the CVT, according to publication, is brand-new and said to be without the rubber band sensation normally associated while being smooth low-speeds. It will also be the only transmission option for all-paw gripping models. A later addition will be Nissan’s e-Power unit that relies on the electric motor for propulsion instead of the still-unknown petrol engine, which mainly serves as a generator. Output is said to be as much as 140 kW.

Like the Juke, and despite ongoing concerns about Brexit, the Qashqai will continue to be manufactured at Nissan’s Sunderland Plant in the United Kingdom with more details set to be revealed or leaked in the coming weeks and months. Although unconfirmed, expect the newcomer to arrive in South Africa either not long after its global reveal or in 2022 as the step-up from the Indian-sourced Magnite.

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