The Nissan Qashqai will be one of the first vehicles to feature a higher output version of the brand’s e-Power series hybrid system. It will mark the first time this powertrain is sold outside of Asia when the new-generation Qashqai arrives in Europe later this year.
Nissan’s e-Power hybrid system differs from competitors because the internal combustion engine doesn’t drive the wheels. It acts as a generator powering the battery while the electric motor motivates the vehicle. In the new Qashqai, the e-Power system gets the new 1.5-liter VC-Turbo three-cylinder engine as the generator and a more powerful electric motor. Total output is 187 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque going through the front wheels only. The Qashqai follows the Kicks and Note as the third vehicle to get the e-Power hybrid system. The latter two cars use a smaller naturally-aspirated 1.2-liter engine as a generator instead of the 1.5-liter VC-Turbo unit.
In addition to the three drive modes, Standard, Sport, and Eco, there’s also a B mode for maximum brake energy regeneration. Nissan’s e-Pedal system, which first debuted on the all-electric Leaf, has found its way into a hybrid. The Qashqai e-Power will be the first Nissan hybrid to get the e-Pedal feature, making it easier to learn how to drive with just the accelerator for 90 percent of driving situations.
Announced initially by Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury division, this new, more powerful e-Power hybrid system will likely proliferate throughout the entire group’s lineup soon. This version could likely end up in multiple Nissan and Infiniti vehicles here in the U.S. The most likely candidates on the Nissan side are the Rogue, Sentra, and Kicks, all of which are strong sellers for the brand. For Infiniti, the QX50 and QX55 could get first dibs and distinguish themselves with more power than their Nissan counterparts.