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.
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.