Its 2022 plans for Australia revealed earlier this month, Nissan South Africa has provided more clarity on the models it expects to offer over the next few months.
Set to arrive first despite an official date not yet being set, the long awaited, all-new Qashqai will finally be available more than twelve months after its world unveiling in February last year.
Based on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s CMF-C platform, the Sunderland built Qashqai is said to be up to 60 kg lighter than the current model, and around 41% stiffer thanks to being made largely out of aluminium and high-strength steel.
As well as completely new interior and more up-to-date features, the surprise highlight is the powertrain. While powered by a mild-hybrid version of the Daimler co-developed 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine, the Qashqai will debut Nissan’s acclaimed e-Power system in South Africa for the first time.
Using the standard normally aspirated 1.5-litre petrol and an electric motor, only the latter, connected to the wheels, is used for propulsion with the former merely serving as a generator.
“For South Africa, e-Power is the type of solution (to full electric vehicles). It bridges the gap, so you don’t have range anxiety but still have the EV range and feel,” Nissan South Africa Marketing Director, Stefan Haasbroek, confirmed to The Citizen this past week.
“I would love to launch it. But there is no visibility for Z in South Africa. The pricing puts it at a position where it doesn’t make sense (to bring it to market). We have to stay true to our strategy of our crossovers and commercials,” he said.
More coy was Haasbroek on the possibility of the Navara Pro-4X Warrior being offered in South Africa after Australia’s carsguide.com.au reported earlier this week that Nissan Australia, together with engineering firm Premcar, had actively started a process of identifying potential export markets.
Known in pre-facelift guise as the N-Trek Warrior, whose allocation of 1 400 units sold out in record time, the Pro-4X Warrior is aimed directly at the Ford Ranger Raptor, but remains an Australian-only model for now despite apparent interest from other markets, including South Africa, having been confirmed.
“Nissan sees the opportunity for a conversion like that in other markets, but we don’t know what it would look like or how the program would be put together. But there’s definitely interest in it,” Nissan Australia Managing Director, Adam Paterson, was quoted by carsguide.com.au as saying.
Asked about the Pro-4X Warrior, a smiling Haasbroek merely stated: “It would be nice (to have it here)”.