Nissan Qashqai e-Power review: First drive of a unique hybrid version of a family SUV Bedford News

Yet while other brands are betting on pure electrics by the end of the decade, Nissan is hedging its bets slightly. It says that by 2030 it will be a 100% electrified brand and by 2030 it will launch 15 new electrified models in Europe, but gave no indication of how that will split between pure electric vehicles and the hybrids.

Some of them – like the Ariya and the new X-Trail e-Power – that we know about, others have yet to be announced. But among the first cars in Nissan’s new Ambition 2030 strategy are two very different hybrids.

Arriving in the summer of 2022, the Juke Hybrid is a fully “self-charging” hybrid that shares its platform and drivetrain with the Renault Captur. The hybrid brings a 25% increase in power to 143hp and a 20% reduction in emissions at the same time as the model benefits from subtle design and specification upgrades.

The Qashqai e-Power is a different beast and, according to Nissan, “the one that will make the difference”.

Rather than a traditional hybrid arrangement where the electric motor supplements the main drive motor, the Qashqai’s wheels are driven by an electric motor that draws power from a gasoline engine used as a generator. According to Nissan, this approach offers the refinement, smoothness and response of an electric vehicle, but without the hassle of having to recharge.

He believes the Qashqai e-Power will be a key stepping stone for drivers to transition from combustion engines to all-electric powertrains.

Considering the impact the Qashqai has had on the automotive market, it’s easy to imagine just how big a role this car could play in changing driver attitudes.

The e-Power transmission is already in use in Japan, but has been completely revised for Europe’s most demanding roads and drivers.

The 95 kW electric drive motor found in Note and Kicks in Japan has been replaced with a 140 kW unit, which equals 187 hp. And instead of the naturally aspirated 1.2-liter, the Qashqai uses a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with variable compression technology that automatically adjusts to deliver power- or economy-focused performance.

Engine/generator output jumps from 83 bhp to 156 bhp, and the 1.5-liter produces 243 lb-ft of torque – none of which, remember, is sent directly to the wheels. Everything the engine does serves the electric motor and the 1.85 kWh battery.

Economy and emissions are yet to be finalised, but estimated at 53.3mpg and 119g/km – both significantly better than the existing petrol-only version.

As with the Ariya prototype, my time with the Qashqai e-Power was limited to a pre-production model on a circuit-based route designed to simulate low-speed city driving and higher-speed A-roads and highways. speed.

At low speeds, the electric motor is quite responsive and smooth, and when the motor fires up, it’s fairly unobtrusive. However, under harder throttle there is often some hesitation when waiting for motor input and it’s not as linear as a pure EV. It’s also not nearly as refined. Accelerating from 30 mph to 60 mph, for example, causes a lot of gross noise as the motor thrashes to generate the electricity needed to power the motor. Nissan says it tuned the setup to have a linear feel, but there’s a hint of bad CVT about the noise.

Noise and performance from the 187bhp engine is decent enough – certainly livelier than the current 1.3-litre petrol – but, based on my short time with the car, handling still isn’t the best. strong point of the Qashqai.

Realistically, a proper test of the hybrid’s capabilities and handling will have to wait until we can try it on suitable roads among other vehicles.

Elsewhere the Qashqai is largely the same – incredibly roomy, comfortable and practical, although no longer best in class. A redesigned grille means it’s a hybrid and within the well-appointed cabin there’s a new 12.3-inch touchscreen with an improved user interface. Non-hybrid cars will also benefit from this upgrade.

The Qashqai is a hugely important car in the UK landscape and this unusual hybrid has the potential to be just as important. We’ll just have to wait for more driving time and some advice on the price to see how it compares to the competition.

Nissan Qashqai e-Power prototype

Price: To confirm Motor: 1.5-litre, three-cylinder, turbo petrol with 140 kW electric motor; Power: 187 hp Torque: 243 lb ft; Transmission: Single speed, front wheel drive; Top speed: to confirm ; 0-62mph: to confirm ; Economy: 53.3 mpg (subject to homologation); CO2 emissions: 119g/km (subject to approval)

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This notice was published: 2022-03-28 15:58:21

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