These are the first images of the new Nissan Qashqai that’s due to be on sale in Britain from next summer and has potentially secured future jobs in the North East for years.
The family SUV, which has been the best-selling model in its segment since it launched over a decade ago, will continue to be produced at the Japanese brand’s plant in Sunderland from 2021, despite the threat of Brexit on the UK automotive sector.
The Qashqai will for the first time be sold with a hybrid powertrain, with the Sunderland factory – which will build all models sold in Europe – receiving a £400million investment.
SUV that will save Sunderland jobs: These are the first images of the all-new Nissan Qashqai, which will be built in Britain from 2021
The commitment to produce the latest Qashqai in Sunderland is of huge importance to the nation’s automotive sector with a little over a month until the Britain’s divorce from the EU is completed.
With manufacturers hesitant to back their production sites in Britain over concerns of increased levies and tariffs if no deal can be reached with Brussels, Nissan’s decision to continue supporting its Sunderland facility will ultimately become the measure of success for staying put in the UK.
Ministers will also be buoyed by the fact the new car has been penned by Nissan Design Europe, based in London and development is taking place at the firm’s Technical Centre in Bedfordshire.
And the Qashqai is a phenomenally important model to the Japanese brand.
Since it hit the market in 2007, Nissan has sold over three million in Europe.
Demand hasn’t slowed over the last decade or so, with 235,000 of the existing second-generation car sold across the continent in 2019.
The Japanese brand has committed to producing the volume-selling family-SUV at the factory in the North East. Since it hit the market in 2007, Nissan has sold over 3m Qashqais in Europe
The Qashqai will for the first time be sold with a hybrid powertrain, with the Sunderland factory – which will build all models sold in Europe – receiving a £400 million investment
The commitment to produce the latest Qashqai in Sunderland is of huge importance to the nation’s automotive sector with a little over a month until the UK’s divorce from the EU is completed
First official images of the car in full have been released by Nissan today, showing prototypes in the final stages of development.
While heavily camouflaged to conceal its full identity from the prying eyes of competitors, the new Qashqai looks to share the design identity of the recently-launched Juke.
The car appears to have the same new V-shaped front grille alongside horizontal V-shaped headlights.
While heavily camouflaged to conceal its full identity, the new Qashqai looks like a beefed-up version of the smaller Juke SUV, which is also being built at the Sunderland plant
Production of the Juke has continued during lockdown 2 in England. The V-shaped grille will be used on its bigger sibbling next year
This teaser image of the Qashqai shows a section of the horizontal V-shaped headlights
In terms of size, it should remain on a par with the current mi-size SUV, though Nissan claims the wheelbase (distance from front wheels to rear wheels) has been extended by 20mm, which should increase rear legroom and make the interior feel marginally more spacious.
It’s also a fraction taller to provide improved head space and the boot capacity will expand by 45 litres compared to the outgoing car.
But it’s under the bonnet where – arguably – the biggest change will be made.
Like many brands in recent months, Nissan is culling diesel engines from the line-up due to the significant fall in demand caused by the emissions cheating scandal and increased taxation and charges for passenger cars with oil burners.
In terms of size, it should remain on a par with the current mi-size SUV, though Nissan claims the wheelbase (distance from front wheels to rear wheels) has been extended by 20mm
A longer wheel base should increase rear legroom and make the interior feel marginally more spacious
The new Qashqai will also a fraction taller than the current model to provide improved head space and the boot capacity will expand by 45 litres compared to the outgoing car
A more streamlined engine range will consist of a 1.3-litre petrol engine available in two power outputs and with 12-volt mild hybrid assistance and a headline-grabbing new hybrid model.
The mild-hybrids – one with 136bhp and the other a more potent 153bhp – will come with the choice of manual transmission or a CVT automatic gearbox , with the latter available with all-wheel drive rather than power being sent solely to the front wheels.
The full ‘e-Power’ hybrid’s details remain tightly under wrap, though we do know it will be a conventional hybrid rather than a plug-in model.
This will pave the way for the arrival of Nissan’s all-electric Ariya SUV, which was revealed earlier this year.
The fully-electric Ariya will have a range of around 310-miles on a full charge and cost from an estimated £40,000 – a substantial premium on the Qashqai, which starts from £20,500 in the UK.
This price is unlikely to increase significantly from summer 2021 when the new version hits showrooms.
Underpinning the third-generation Qashqai will be the latest CMF-C platform that’s shared across the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s.
This will mean a greater use of ultra high strength steel than before. This should – in theory – make the Qashqai lighter as well s stiffer, meaning better fuel economy and improve driving dynamics.
‘The new Qashqai is going to change what customers can expect from a family car,’ Nissan chairman, Gianluca de Ficchy, said.
‘Comfort, refinement and technology will be from higher categories of car, while the driving experience will satisfy drivers and passengers alike.
‘With Nissan’s bold e-Power technology, we feel that customers will fall in love with the feeling of an electric powertrain, without the range concerns.’
This is the all-electric Nisaan Ariya, which will be prices from around £40,000 and have a range of around 310 miles
The new Qashqai will ditch diesel engines entirely. Instead, there will be two 1.3-litre mild-hybrid petrol options and a conventional e-Power hybrid
Details of the hybrid have yet to be confirmed. However, Nissan says the Qashqai will continue to feature the ProPilot assistance system, which allow for semi-autonomous driving
The family SUV will also be prepped for semi-autonomous driving, with the brand’s ProPilot system included.
This will be capable of providing steering, acceleration and braking assistance.
In the automatic cruise control, it will use navigation data to slow the car for corners and be able to react to different speed limits by reading the roadside signs.
‘ProPilot is one of our most well appreciated innovations on the current Qashqai,’ explains Marco Fioravanti, vice president of product planning for Nissan Europe.
‘Customers love how it seamlessly supports the driver in maintaining a smooth, precise and secure drive, particularly in busy traffic conditions, at night or in bad weather.
‘We are excited to elevate that feeling of convenience and confidence thanks to the great additional functions of ProPilot with Navi-link on the forthcoming Qashqai.’