2021 Nissan Qashqai: Engine details revealed

The Nissan Qashqai adopts a range of mild-hybrid and e-Power hybrid powertrains in Europe, and the latter looks likely for Australia.

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William Stopford
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The redesigned Nissan Qashqai promises to be more electrifying, adopting both mild-hybrid and new e-Power hybrid drivetrains.

The car will be unveiled in our Autumn and CarExpert understands it’ll debut locally late this year.

While Nissan hasn’t confirmed the local engine line-up, we understand our market is in line for the e-Power powertrain.

E-Power, currently available only in Japanese-market Nissans like the Note, will be introduced in the Qashqai in 2022.

Before then, the Qashqai will launch with an updated turbocharged 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine that adds a 12V mild-hybrid system.

The turbo four will be available in two states of tune. The less powerful tune, with 103kW of power and 240Nm of torque, will be available only with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission.

There’s also a more powerful version with 117kW of power at 5500rpm and 270Nm of torque at 1750rpm.

It’ll be available with either front- or all-wheel drive and either a six-speed manual or continuously-variable transmission (CVT). With the manual, torque drops slightly to 260Nm.

The mild-hybrid system adds 22kg to the car and features a lithium-ion battery, in which energy recovered through regeneration is stored.

The engine will switch off at speeds of less than 18km/h and coast you to a stop in CVT models, while the battery adds an extra 6Nm of torque for up to 20 seconds when you’re accelerating to aid responsiveness and fuel economy.

The turbocharged 1.3-litre four was introduced in the current car in Europe in 2018, though Nissan’s Australian and North American operations have persisted with the naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol that produces 106kW of power and 200Nm of torque.

We also missed out on all-wheel drive and, since 2017, diesel engines. The new car will drop diesel engines entirely, including in Europe.

With the e-Power system, available only with front-wheel drive, the Qashqai has outputs of 140kW of power and 330Nm of torque.

An electric motor drives the front wheels but there’s a 1.5-litre petrol engine that charges the battery. Nissan says this gives you the feel of an electric vehicle, including the instant torque, without the need to plug in to charge.

It borrows some technology from the all-electric Leaf including that car’s e-Pedal mode, which allows drivers to start, accelerate and decelerate using only the accelerator pedal.

There are also three driving modes: Standard, Sport and Eco. Sport reduces engine off-time, while Eco optimises battery management and allows you to select a specific coasting mode.

Nissan has confirmed the Qashqai has grown slightly and now measures 4425mm long, or 31mm longer than the current car.

Boot space has also increased, with luggage capacity reportedly up 74L due to a lower boot floor. That would put luggage space at over 500L.

The doors, front fenders and bonnet are now made of aluminium, shaving 21kg off the car’s weight. Nissan also says the Qashqai’s structure is 60kg lighter overall and 41 per cent stiffer, while using 50 per cent more ultra high-strength steel.

The new Qashqai uses a new version of the Alliance CMF-C platform that underpinned the outgoing model.

New technology includes active grille shutters to maximise efficiency plus optional matrix LED headlights.

A 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen stands up from the centre of the dash, and supports wired and wireless Apple CarPlay, as well as wired Android Auto. Up-spec models add a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.8-inch head-up display.

Nissan is also rolling out its ProPilot driver assistance system, which includes adaptive cruise control with stop/go, lane-centring assist, traffic sign recognition, blind-spot assist and reverse autonomous emergency braking.

Other features that’ll be available include a 10-speaker Bose sound system, wireless phone charging, both USB-A and USB-C ports, and built-in TomTom satellite navigation with over-the-air map updates.

Top-spec models will have seats covered in diamond-quilted Nappa leather, and be fitted with a massaging system with three program modes.

MORE: Nissan Qashqai news, reviews, comparisons and videos
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