Nissan Reveals Details of e-Power for Euro Qashqai

Nissan has released technical and performance details of its new Qashqai compact crossover bringing its e-Power powertrain to Europe for the first time.

As TU-Automotive reported last year, the system brings back the ICE generator technology last seen on the Vauxhall/Opel Ampera before the then owner, General Motors, abandoned the technology for the European market. Nissan’s system has already won favor in its domestic Japanese market being deployed in both the Note and Serena models.

The system in Europe features a 154bhp 1.5-liter gasoline generator feeding electricity to a 140kW electric motor of similar size and power output as found in Nissan’s electric vehicles. The generator, or range-extender, does not power the wheels and will keep the electric motor operating when the on-board battery is depleted, so negating BEV range anxiety.

There are three driving modes: Standard, Sport and Eco. In Standard, the car produces excellent acceleration and lift-off regeneration is tuned to simulate the engine-braking of a conventional petrol vehicle. In Sport mode, the car further improves acceleration response with reduced engine off time. In Eco, the car goes into fuel-saving mode by optimizing battery management and allowing the driver to select a coasting model for economical highway driving. In all modes an additional B mode can be selected which increases the energy recuperation at lift-off, slowing the car more efficiently without the use of the brake pedal.

Similar to the Leaf, the new Qashqai e-Power uses ‘one pedal’ driving called e-Pedal mode. Drivers can start, accelerate and decelerate using only the accelerator pedal, supporting up to 90% of driving scenarios.

In Europe, the Qashqai will also be sold with a 12-volt mild hybrid powertrain option featuring a 1.3-liter gasoline engine offered in two power outputs of 137bhp and 154bhp, with either a six-speed manual transmission or new Xtronic CVT gearbox available in the higher output only. Claimed maximum engine power arrives at 5,500rpm, with maximum available torque of 199ft-lbs at 1,750rpm on the high output models.

The system also features energy recovery on deceleration charging an on-board lithium-ion battery. This charged energy is then supplied during Idling Stop, Coasting Stop (CVT versions only) and Torque Assist. When coasting to a stop, at speeds of less than 11mph, and ‘brake on’, 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.

When accelerating between 12mph and 68mph, the energy in the battery allows the motor to assist with an additional 4.4ft-lbs torque for up to 20 seconds to help reduce the torque effort on the engine and improve fuel economy.

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

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