Nissan Opts for ‘Budget’ Mild Hybrid in New Qashqai

Nissan’s third generation compact SUV Qashqai employs a ‘value for money’ mild hybrid gasoline powertrain for its launch models.

The vehicle, also known as the Rogue Sport in the US, offers two power output options from its 1.3-liter turbo-charged gasoline motor married to 12-volt lithium-ion battery mild hybrid system as a “more affordable hybrid technology” than a full self-charging system, according to the automaker. The system adds just 48.4lbs to the overall vehicle mass.

When decelerating, energy is recovered through regeneration and stored in the Lithium-ion battery. This charged energy is then supplied during Idling Stop, Coasting Stop (Xtronic versions only) and Torque Assist. When coasting to a stop, at speeds of less than 11mph, with light braking, the engine will switch off and the stored energy is used to power the vehicle’s electrical equipment. This allows engine stop to be extended and fuel consumption lowered as a result.

The entry-level option claims 134bhp and 76ft-lbs of torque with fuel economy of 44.8mpg (37.3mpg US) and 143g/km of CO2 emissions. The higher output boasts 152bhp and 85ft-lbs of torque while matching the fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions for two-wheel drive options. An all-wheel drive system has been upgraded, with a new direct coupling which sends power to the rear wheels five times faster than the previous generation when it detects front wheel slip. And there is more driver interaction thanks to the addition of a new drive mode selector on the center console.

Later the car will be offered with Nissan’s e-Power powertrain that uses its gasoline engine purely as an electricity generator for the car’s motors. The lithium-ion battery is charged thanks to a three-cylinder 1.5-lite variable compression turbo motor. To accommodate this unique installation, now that General Motors has dropped the concept, the Qashqai’s CMF-C platform was designed from the outset to house the battery pack in the center of the floorplan but without compromising cabin or trunk space.

David Moss, senior vice-president, region research and development, Nissan Technical Centre Europe, said: “When we started to define the needs and priorities for the next generation of Qashqai customers, we could see that we faced enormous engineering challenges. We knew Qashqai needed to be electrified, so we opted to develop two innovative powertrain options, which will combine efficiency and responsive performance.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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