The all-new Nissan Qashqai will be officially revealed on Thursday 18 February, with the brand promising it will "set a new standard for the segment with appealing design, advanced technology and dynamic driving".
The family SUV, which joins a growing number of rivals that have ditched diesel entirely, will be offered with either a mild-hybrid four-cylinder turbocharged engine or the new ePower hybrid system, which makes its European debut.
The first, more conventional offering is an updated version of the 1.3-litre turbo engine found in many current Nissan, Renault and Mercedes models. All versions feature a 12V mild-hybrid system, selected for being more affordable than a 48V set-up, mated to a small lithium ion battery to offer torque assist and improved stop-start functionality.
Adding 22kg to the powertrain kerb weight, the mild-hybrid system also offers fuel economy improvements and a claimed 4g/km reduction in CO2, although homologation figures have yet to be provided.
The engine is offered in 138bhp or 156bhp forms, the latter of which can be specified with all-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive system itself is said to be “more intuitive and intelligent”, features five driving modes, and can shift power to the rear wheels five times quicker than the old system.
Either a six-speed manual transmission or (on the more powerful unit) a CVT automatic is offered. Nissan has gone from CVT to dual-clutch and back to CVT in the past few years, but claims the new transmission is more efficient and responsive yet avoids the traditional ‘elastic band effect’ - where the engine revs out of kilter with road speed - thanks to simulated stepped gear ratios.
The more advanced offering is a new ePower hybrid system, which isn’t a plug-in but differs from parallel hybrids because the engine isn’t directly connected to the wheels. Instead, it charges a battery, which in turn powers an electric motor to drive the wheels.
The system has proved hugely popular in Japan, thrusting the relatively old Note supermini into the biggest seller in its segment. Nissan claims it has been “significantly upgraded” for European customers, however, with a 47%-larger electric motor and a more powerful combustion engine.