The next-generation Nissan Qashqai, due in 2020, will purportedly arrive with no less than two electrified powertrains under the skin. The massively-popular crossover will embrace electrification but stop short of a battery-electric system, which should serve its target market well.
Of the two powertrains, the e-Power system that Nissan’s pioneered is a given. First introduced in the Note, the e-Power drivetrain essentially takes a battery-electric vehicle and pairs it to a small petrol generator, that only provides electrical power and doesn’t drive the wheels.
The other possibility is a plug-in hybrid, as the Nissan Qashqai could pick up a few tricks from new Alliance members Mitsubishi, who know a thing or two about PHEVs. However, Nissan’s European VP of product planning isn’t too hot on that idea, or so he explained to AutoExpress:
“We’re not pursuing a big plug-in hybrid strategy. On some car lines we’ll try it out, but the business case for plug-in hybrids is not very good. For us, it’s a bridge technology for the next two to four years until battery costs drop to the point where the variable costs of making full EVs prevail.” — Ponz Pandikuthira, Vice President (Product Planning, Europe), Nissan
The next-generation Qashqai will be built off of a new platform developed by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, that will allow for integration of the electrified powertrains. The main hurdle stopping the team at Nissan from offering a full-electric Qashqai is cost, as the engineering involved to fashion a platform to accommodate a full-electric drivetrain would involve “considerably higher” cost.
Following the Qashqai, the electrification should continue to the rest of the Nissan lineup, including cars like the Juke and the X-Trail. ProPilot should also make an appearance on the next-gen Qashqai too, given the use of the new platform.