Nissan Qashqai plug-in hybrid confirmed

  • Emissions as low as 40g/km
  • Styling cues taken from new X-Trail
  • On sale in 2015
Words ByVicky Parrott

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The all-new Nissan Qashqai will feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain that could achieve emissions as low as 40g/km, says executive vice-president Andy Palmer.

A big incentive for producing the super-efficient Qashqai is to have a car that would 'meet what we [Nissan] anticipate to be in-city air quality regulations'.

The new car is likely to be powered by a combination of an electric motor and a small-capacity petrol engine. Mr Palmer also hinted that it could be one of the more affordable plug-in hybrids because the company has 'relatively cost-efficient batteries because we have such a good electric car infrastructure already'.

The hybrid Qashqai is likely to have a similar engine line-up to the current car, which has 1.5- and 1.6-litre turbodiesels as its staple motors. It will also get a new CVT automatic gearbox, which Mr Palmer described as feeling 'like a twin-clutch automatic'.

Much of the styling from the new Nissan X-Trail will be reflected in the Qashqai. Cabin finish has been a focal point for the car, with senior sources in the company saying that they have 'benchmarked above Audi' for interior quality.

Two and four-wheel drive options will remain, but the seven-seat Qashqai+2 will not be replaced. Its place in Nissan's range will be taken by the seven-seat X-Trail.

The new Nissan Qashqai will go on sale in the UK in early 2014, with the plug-in hybrid model following in 2015.