The upcoming 2021 Nissan Qashqai's powertrain range has been detailed for Europe, however it remain unclear which engines will be offered with the next-generation model in Australia.
Two powertrains will be offered on the continent.
Unlike a 'conventional' hybrid (such as those offered by Toyota) where either (or both) the petrol engine or electric motor can drive the wheels at once, Nissan's E-Power sees the petrol engine held at a constant RPM to act as a generator for the electric motor, the latter of which drives the wheels exclusively.
The hybrid system employs a 115kW 1.5-litre petrol engine, mated with a front-mounted electric motor developing 140kW of power and 330Nm of torque – 50kW more than the Qashqai's closest hybrid small SUV rival, the 90kW Toyota C-HR Hybrid.
Three drive modes are on offer – Standard, Sport and Eco – which vary the throttle response and intensity of the system's regenerative braking.
A 'one-pedal' mode shared with the Leaf electric vehicle, dubbed E-Pedal, is also available, allowing the vehicle to be accelerated, decelerated (at up to 0.2g) and brought to a complete stop with the accelerator pedal alone.
Meanwhile, European buyers can opt for a 1.3-litre, mild-hybridised turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine.
An evolution of the 1.3-litre turbo-four offered with the outgoing Qashqai in Europe – with a revised turbocharger and new emissions-reducing equipment – the new-generation unit is now paired with a 12-volt 'mild-hybrid' system, capable of recuperating kinetic energy under deceleration and storing it in a compact lithium-ion battery.
When fitted to automatic-equipped cars, at speeds less than 18km/h, the mild-hybrid system will then be able to switch off the engine, running the Qashqai's air conditioning and other electrical systems on the stored electrical energy alone – something not possible with a typical start-stop system.
When accelerating between 20km/h and 110km/h, the stored energy in the battery can be deployed to provide an additional 6Nm of torque, for up to 20 seconds.
Nissan claims the system adds just 22kg to the car's kerb weight, but saves 4g/km of CO2.
The 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine will be offered in two states of tune, developing 103kW of power and 240Nm of torque, and 117kW and 260-270Nm, with the higher figure achieved with the optional CVT automatic transmission.
A six-speed manual transmission is standard-fit on 103kW variants, with the aforementioned CVT automatic transmission available as an option with the top-spec 117kW model.
All variants are front-wheel-drive as standard, with the CVT-equipped 117kW Qashqai available with all-wheel-drive as an option, with all-paw cars featuring Standard, Eco, Sport, Snow and Off-Road drive modes.
The 2021 Nissan Qashqai is expected to make its full debut in the coming months, ahead of an expected Australian launch late in 2021.
While Europe will receive a pair of fuel-sipping, electrified powertrains, it's unclear which engines will be offered Down Under.
Despite the availability of a 1.3-litre turbo-petrol and a dual-clutch automatic transmission in Europe, Australian-delivered Qashqais are currently offered solely with a 106kW/200Nm 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine, mated to a choice of six-speed manual or CVT automatic transmissions.
Given the Qashqai's anticipated late 2021 Australian launch, and the E-Power model's scheduled 2022 European launch, the flagship hybrid won't arrive in Australia at launch, with any potential local arrival for the model to occur the following year.
Europe's stricter emissions regulations will likely see the mild-hybrid 1.3-litre engine prioritised for that market, meaning Australian buyers could continue to be offered the same (or an updated version of) the existing 2.0-litre mill, or a separate unit altogether.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more details on the new Nissan Qashqai as its expected local launch nears later in 2021.
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