The Nissan Qashqai e-Power series hybrid is due to hit Australian showrooms later this year, but don’t expect an all-wheel drive e-4orce version to become available anywhere in the world.
“It’s not something we’re working on at the moment,” said deputy director of marketability at Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE), Adam Robertson. “For the dual-motor e-4orce, we’ve got the X-Trail.”
Nissan’s e-Power series hybrid system is a little different to the concepts of brands like Toyota, in that the onboard combustion engine doesn’t directly drive the wheels.
It’s attached to a generator which can power the e-motor through an inverter, and charges a small lithium-ion battery pack.
The e-4orce moniker is given to electric or e-Power hybrid Nissan models with all-wheel drive, as the drivetrain features an additional electric motor on the rear axle.
In the case of the X-Trail e-Power with e-4orce, the brand claims the AWD torque response is up to 10,000 times faster than a mechanical system. It’s also capable of torque vectoring, as well as braking the inside wheel.
The single-motor Nissan Qashqai e-Power features a 116kW 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine under the bonnet, hooked up to a motor-generator and an inverter to power a 2.3kWh lithium battery pack, which drives a 140kW/330Nm electric motor on the front axle.
The combustion engine doesn’t directly drive the wheels, instead acting as a generator to keep the battery charged, which then feeds the electric motor. Nissan says its e-Power models offer a more EV-like driving experience than other hybrids.
Local fuel consumption figures are yet to be confirmed, but European models use a claimed 5.3L per 100km on the combined WLTP cycle, about 0.5L/100km up on a Toyota RAV4 2WD Hybrid, and 1.0L/100km up on the Corolla Cross 2WD Hybrid.
By comparison, the 1.3-litre turbo petrol in regular Qashqai models makes 110kW (5500rpm) and 250Nm (1600-3750rpm), and uses 6.1 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.
Due to launch locally “sometime” in 2023, the Qashqai e-Power will compete with the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid and GWM Haval Jolion HEV, and serves as a slightly smaller alternative to the top-selling Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and GWM Haval H6 HEV.
Australian pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we do already know Nissan’s local division will offer the Qashqai e-Power – at least initially – in higher-spec ST-L and Ti grades.
The dual-motor X-Trail e-Power with e-4orce commands a $4200 premium over the equivalent 4WD petrol model.
We’re expecting a $3000-$4000 gap between the Qashqai e-Power and its turbo petrol equivalent, which would indicate a mid-$45,000 starting point for the hybrid version.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest.