THE final preparations are well under way for the introduction of the third generation of the Nissan Qashqai compact crossover, a car the Japanese car maker says changed the face of the world car market and spawned many imitators.
Prototypes of the new model are racking up testing miles on European roads in anticipation of it again resetting what customers can expect from a compact crossover when it goes on sale mid-next year in Australia.
The new Qashqai will build on its position as the pioneer of and benchmark in the medium-crossover segment in Europe since 2007. Underpinning the new Qashqai is the new Alliance CMF-C platform, a showcase of advanced engineering and innovation.
For this iteration, Nissan has retained the guiding principles that have driven the concept, design and development of the two previous generations of Qashqai; elegant design, enhanced packaging and an efficient powertrain.
The new Qashqai will again raise the bar in the crossover segment and customers will savour those attributes, with a rewarding driving experience, building on its reputation as a refined and cosseting drive, but nevertheless, enjoyable when the road turns twisty.
The new CMF-C platform boasts torsional rigidity of vehicles from a higher segment, allowing the suspension to remain precisely located, ensuring positive and confidence-inspiring responses to steering inputs and a more solid feel when driving on rough roads.
The new Qashqai stands within the wider Nissan electrification strategy and will offer customers two powertrain solutions, including a flexible and efficient 1.3-litre petrol engine with mild hybrid technology.
Nissan’s innovative e-POWER electric motor driven system will bring the exciting instant and linear acceleration EV feeling to the Qashqai, without the range concerns.
The 1.3-litre petrol engine has been extensively updated to include a mild hybrid system. The 12v hybrid system incorporates a separate lithium battery installation mounted under the floor and belt driven generator to harvest braking energy.
This allows the engine’s systems to run on harvested energy, extending the duration of the stop/start function, which reduces the engine’s overall CO2 emissions. Additionally, it allows coasting and also offers torque support under acceleration.
A unique Nissan innovation, the e-POWER system offers full electric motor drive, meaning that the wheels are completely driven by the electric motor.
e-POWER is comprised of a high-output battery and the powertrain which is integrated with petrol engine, power generator, inverter and a motor.
In conventional hybrid systems, the wheels are driven by an electric motor and a petrol engine. However, in the e-POWER system, the petrol engine is not connected to the wheels; it simply charges the battery.
And unlike a full EV, the power source is the engine, rather than just the battery. Full technical details and specifications of the e-POWER installation will follow closer to its market introduction.
The new Qashqai will also be equipped with the next generation of ProPILOT driver assistance, bringing greater driver support in a wider array of circumstances.
Called ProPILOT with Navi-link, the system has been designed to reduce fatigue and stress while driving, while being very intuitive to use.
ProPILOT with Navi-link is able to accelerate and brake the vehicle within a single-lane on a highway. The system can accelerate the vehicle to cruise at a set speed, and can brake the vehicle down to 0 km/h in heavy stop-start traffic.
The system is able to resume automatically if the vehicle has been stationary for less than three seconds and the traffic in front of the car moves away.
The steering system and the camera are constantly updating the vehicle’s position, helping the car to stay centred within the lane while maintaining a pre-determined speed, but with the capability to adapt and maintain a safe distance to the car in front.
On all 2021 Qashqai, the updated system is now able to adapt the car’s speed according to additional external circumstances, including when the car crosses to a lower speed limit zone on the highway.
The system is able to read road signs and take into account navigation system speed limit data to slow the Qashqai to the appropriate speed, meaning the driver doesn’t need to adjust the cruise control speed manually.
Other upgrades include a flank protection warning for urban situations, which alerts the driver of the risk of contact with an object on the side of the vehicle, typically when turning into a supermarket parking space.
When it arrives in 2021, the new Qashqai is expected to elevate the bar again and set new standards in the segment, with striking design, comfort, refinement, efficiency and convenient technology.