Nissan used the 2021 Shanghai auto show to show off its latest creations, including the global market Rogue, which is known outside of the U.S. as the X-Trail. One of the highlights is the addition of the e-Power hybrid system for the European market X-Trail. That makes it the second vehicle outside of Asia to get the electrified powertrain after the recently revealed Qashqai.
The e-Power system is different from most hybrids because it doesn’t use the gas engine to turn the wheels. Instead, an electric motor is the only one tasked with motivation while the internal combustion engine operates as a generator charging a small lithium-ion battery as needed. As a result, you get a similar driving experience as a battery-electric vehicle. Nissan further makes the resemblance more obvious by adding tools like e-Pedal, which enables one-pedal driving.
Nissan’s commitment to carbon neutrality means doubling down on electrification. In addition to EVs, the brand has expanded the availability of its e-Power hybrid system to Europe. There’s no word yet on when it’ll come to North America but that seems to be a matter of time. The Qashqai’s 187-hp front electric drive motor will likely find itself in the Rogue/X-Trail as will the 1.5-liter variable compression ratio turbocharged three-cylinder generator. We suspect the Rogue/X-Trail will get an AWD version with a more powerful electric motor mounted on the rear axle.
As with the current crop of compact crossovers in the North American market, the Rogue e-Power will likely be the high-powered and efficiency-minded option. We hope that Nissan brings this powertrain to its bestselling crossover because this has the potential to speed up the normalization of electrified motoring. The fact that it drives like an EV but with a gas engine generator as a backup broadens its consumer appeal.