Geneva show Qashqai Premium Concept to make production as top-end trim level, priced from £30k
20 May 2016

Nissan is pressing on with a new range-topping Qashqai based on the matt black Premium Concept unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March.

Nissan was non-committal about the model’s chance of production success when it was first revealed, but an introduction date of 2017-2018 has since been pencilled in.

Autonomous tech to feature in 2017 Nissan Qashqai

The Qashqai Premium Concept, which was styled in the UK at Nissan’s European design studio in London, is intended to be a test bed to push the crossover into a new £30,000-plus price point, possibly badged Tekna+, to battle more premium compact SUVs such as the Audi Q3 and BMW X1.

Encouraged by sales of the £29k top-spec Tekna-trim model, which is capturing a third of UK Qashqai sales, designers are now working flat out to productionise the concept’s unique trim parts, wide-track chassis and specially finished wheels.

“The concept was designed to be feasible for production,” said Darryl Scriven, design manager for the Qashqai Premium Concept. “Now we are working and adapting the authentic materials, like carbon-fibre, nappa leather and special paint, for a production future.”

All of the key elements of the concept’s bodykit, such as the intricate lower bumper mouldings and carbonfibre wheelarch extensions, plus the burnished ‘V Motion’ grille and new headlights and tail-lights, are expected to make it onto the production model.

“We are looking at how to move from hand-laid prototype carbonfibre parts to materials that keep the same look but which are easier to make in volume,” said Scriven.

Nissan used British motorsport engineering expertise to tool and mould the carbonfibre parts, with the carbonfibre sheet laid by hand in order to create a uniform look to the weave.

British machining skills were also adopted for the special wheel finish. The cast wheels were first given a coat of gold paint, followed by a layer of black. Then the top layer was machined off in places, to an accuracy of thousandths of a millimetre, in order to expose the gold paint underneath. “The challenge is to find a way of making production parts with the same look,” added Scriven.

Another engineering task is to ensure the concept’s 20mm wider tracks — an important change that gives the Qashqai a more planted look — can be replicated in production.

The biggest challenge is expected to be keeping the concept’s matt black body colour. Nissan can paint matt black at its Sunderland plant, but the finish is vulnerable in use, particularly during cleaning, when the dull finish can be polished off. Instead, Nissan is likely to choose three body colours — dark, intermediate and light — which will work in various global markets, with each colour teamed with a contrasting shade in place of gold.

Inside, the white nappa leather is likely to morph into a slightly less vulnerable light colour, but the common premium theme of light seat trim with dark carpets and door lowers is a key part of the production idea.

Other upmarket models under consideration

Nissan Europe is looking at creating premium versions of other models to join the upmarket Qashqai. An X-Trail Premium Concept was shown alongside the similarly tweaked Qashqai at the Geneva show, and it’s possible that a more upmarket version of Nissan’s mid-size SUV will also make it into production.

Nissan isn’t yet moving in the direction of Ford’s Vignale sub-brand, which also embraces better dealer service, while new Vauxhall boss Rory Harvey ruled out a Vignale-type brand extension when asked about the idea at the Geneva show.

However, the pricing of Nissan’s Tekna+ and Ford’s Vignale is expected to be very similar, signifying a new price war between premium and volume brands at around the £30k mark.

Our Verdict

Nissan Qashqai

Nissan's second crossover album goes platinum, but can a light refresh to the Qashqai and some added extras help it hold off the advances from the Seat Ateca and Skoda Kodiaq

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Comments
17

20 May 2016
If they're looking to compete with the premium small SUVs like the X1 and Q3 they're going to need a more attractive drivetrain.

A 130 bhp diesel with a rubber band gearbox won't cut the mustard against the 2 litre units and high tech autos that people expect to be able to get in a 'premium' product.

20 May 2016
I've always liked these as a family car, but while not looking for 300hp to move the kids around a 0-60 in less than 10 seconds is needed somewhere in the range, if only for overtaking safely...

20 May 2016
I wasn't convinced by Ford's push upmarket with Vignale and I'm not convinced by this either; adding a few bits of painted plastic and some new leather doesn't change the fundamentals of the car. Nissan would do better to spend their money on improving the Qashqai's reliability which seems pretty lacklustre judging by some recent surveys.

20 May 2016
The new Ford S-MAX Vignale starts around £33k. I'm not sure what Nissan can possibly offer, based on their current technical offering, that would rival Ford's much larger more powerful model if pricing ends up in a similar region.


20 May 2016
Completely agree with comments above on power. I liked the Qashqai but the engines on offer were appalling compared to Tiguan/Yeti/Q3. I'm not looking to lap the Nurburgring in less than 8 minutes but I would like to overtake a slow truck safely.... (if you never, ever overtake then you'll love it).

 

 

 

20 May 2016
So what is the point of Infinity then. Has Nissan not looked at Ford's vignale. On the autotrader. They go for the same price as a normal Mundaneo, and hang around for ages. Jeez I think think titanium sells quicker. As for everyone else's comments I can't agree more more power would be nice and a proper auto box, no cvt. Dont want a qashcow nismo just circa 9 secs to 60, would be fine thanks. Save your cash Nissan and give us a better engine and box.

20 May 2016
Totally agreed with the above posts that it smacks of Ford's Vignale effort. A decent 4 cylinder diesel with 190bhp and a 4 cylinder petrol with 220bhp would make more sense. Maybe cap it with a GT-R engined performance version for 50k.

20 May 2016
My god, Nissan don't have a decent diesel engine in its lineup. Its got a 2.3 turbo diesel in the Navara with 160bhp that pumps out 167g/km CO2 or the same with 190bhp which pumps out a whopping 183g/km CO2 with Auto gearbox. Its only Euro 5 compliant. What a wierd engine range. All the modern engines have less than 163bhp, then BANG 3.7L V6 with 328PS and BANG 3.8l V6 with 550PS in the GT-R.

22 May 2016
winniethewoo wrote:

My god, Nissan don't have a decent diesel engine in its lineup. Its got a 2.3 turbo diesel in the Navara with 160bhp that pumps out 167g/km CO2 or the same with 190bhp which pumps out a whopping 183g/km CO2 with Auto gearbox. Its only Euro 5 compliant. What a wierd engine range. All the modern engines have less than 163bhp, then BANG 3.7L V6 with 328PS and BANG 3.8l V6 with 550PS in the GT-R.

The Navara is a TRUCK! It weighs nearly two tons, can carry a ton and tow 3.5 tons! In this day and age it is incredible that a vehicle with this capability can produce such little CO2. I really cannot see your point???? Relative to its peers the CO2 figures are very competitive.

22 May 2016
geed wrote:
winniethewoo wrote:

My god, Nissan don't have a decent diesel engine in its lineup. Its got a 2.3 turbo diesel in the Navara with 160bhp that pumps out 167g/km CO2 or the same with 190bhp which pumps out a whopping 183g/km CO2 with Auto gearbox. Its only Euro 5 compliant. What a wierd engine range. All the modern engines have less than 163bhp, then BANG 3.7L V6 with 328PS and BANG 3.8l V6 with 550PS in the GT-R.

The Navara is a TRUCK! It weighs nearly two tons, can carry a ton and tow 3.5 tons! In this day and age it is incredible that a vehicle with this capability can produce such little CO2. I really cannot see your point???? Relative to its peers the CO2 figures are very competitive.

You do love your cars with high CO2 output don't you? I bet you drive an antique!

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