Posts Tagged ‘rogue’

Nissan Rogue Hybrid Possibly Coming to the US

Posted by Stephen On Friday, April 17th, 2015

2015 Nissan X-Trail Hybrid

After Toyota showed off their new RAV4 Hybrid at the recent 2015 New York Auto Show, Nissan is chiming in with a new hybrid offer of their own. Nothing is guaranteed yet, but rumors have surfaced that Nissan is considering adding a hybrid powertrain to the second best-selling vehicle in their lineup – the Rogue compact crossover.

The news comes from an interview between the Nissan X-Trail’s chief engineer, Nobusuke Toukura, and Automotive News. For those unfamiliar with Nissan’s nomenclature, the US Rogue is sold in most international markets as the X-Trail. Nissan is getting ready to add a hybrid version of the Rogue/X-Trail to their JDM portfolio, and is mulling the possibility of bringing the same powertrain to the US.

That means that if the US does get a Nissan Rogue Hybrid, it will likely use a 30 kW one-motor hybrid system with two clutches, unlike the multi-motor hybrid systems that have been implemented by both Honda and Toyota. The Rogue’s hybrid system would be paired with a 2.0L four cylinder engine that outputs 145 horsepower, along with Nissan’s standard CVT transmission. AutoNews says that the 2.0L engine is more favorable for the hybrid setup because it offers superior with low-rev torque and acceleration compared to the larger non-hybrid 2.5L engine that’s also offered in the X-Trail.

If Nissan is indeed going to release a Rogue Hybrid, now is definitely the time to do it…

For one, a hybrid crossover would keep them aligned with new competitors entering the scene in the form of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and a possible Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid. For two, US hybrid sales are expected to surge in the next five years as emissions regulations continue to tighten up. Thirdly, the Rogue is on an upswing this year, with a 28% increase in year-over-year sales during the first three months of 2015. When you consider that Nissan estimates that a hybrid option could account for 40% of future sales, it seems like an easy decision to make.

On top of all that, the Nissan X-Trail Hybrid going on sale in Japan next month will get an impressive 48 mpg, which makes it easy to see where Nissan got their expected 40% hybrid sales distribution – who could say no to 48 mpg in a crossover? Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for official word from a Nissan USA spokesman to know whether the model is guaranteed to make an appearance on US shores… So far, still no comment.


Nissan Extrem II Concept Teased Before San Paolo Debut

Posted by Stephen On Friday, October 17th, 2014

2014 Extrem II Concept

The echoes of the 2014 Paris Motor Show can still be heard reverberating across the furthest corners of the Internet, and yet Japanese automakers are already gearing up for this year’s next major auto show in San Paolo. Today we’re looking at Nissan’s preview for an as-yet-unnamed new compact crossover concept.

We don’t have a name for it yet, but Nissan says it’s a follow-up to the Extrem Concept from the 2012 San Paolo Motor Show (pictured below). Since we have nothing else to go on, this new concept has been unofficially dubbed the Nissan Extrem II Concept.

2012 Nissan Extrem Concept

As with most teasers of this nature, Nissan hasn’t released much information at all about their new SUV concept. In fact, the first two paragraphs of this article pretty much sum up everything that Nissan has “officially” told us. But if you take out your magnifying glass, you’ll find that there are a few clues that hint at what this new CUV will be…

First, Nissan doesn’t typically follow up on concepts that they don’t intend to produce. The fact that their showcasing a second version of the 2012 Extrem Concept suggests that whatever this car is will likely make it to production.

How much iteration remains between San Paolo and a commercial vehicle?

That we don’t know.

At the time of this writing, there are two popular rumors currently circulating the web about Nissan’s new concept. The first is that the Extrem II will eventually become a CUV slotted above the Juke but below the Rogue, perhaps as a global, more coupe-like Qashqai variant. The second rumor is that the Extrem II is actually the next-gen Nissan Juke in disguise, with perhaps a bit of design study thrown in for good measure.

We don’t buy any of it. The new Extrem II Concept won’t slot above the Juke or replace it; we believe it’ll slot below it. Just think about it… While other automakers are racing to manufacture CUVs that match the Juke’s compact proportions, Nissan is raising the bar by going even smaller.

Well, I guess that would be lowering the bar, wouldn’t it?

2014 Extrem II Concept profile

Either way, our theory isn’t mere hearsay. The 2012 Extrem Concept measured smaller than the current Nissan Juke in length, height and wheelbase. So, it’s reasonable to expect that the Extrem II will also be smaller than the Juke as a crossover that’s more hatchback/coupe than SUV.

Infiniti proved their willingness to break boundaries at the Paris Motor Show with the Q80 Inspiration Concept. Perhaps the Extrem II is Nissan’s attempt to do the same. Whatever it is, we’re excited to see what Nissan comes up with. Stay tuned for more info later this month.


New Nissan Pulsar Revived to Compete with Europe’s Hatchbacks

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Starting this fall, Nissan will be ready to compete with Europe’s best-selling C-segment hatchbacks. This is because they’ve just pulled the curtains off their revived Nissan Pulsar, a car the world hasn’t seen since 2000. However, this new European offering will come back to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the VW Golf, Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus.

Check it out for yourself below:

2014 Nissan Pulsar front

As you can see, the new Nissan Pulsar fits right in with the rest of the Japanese automaker’s lineup complete with its signature V-motion grille. It’s designed to slot below the Qashqai and X-Trail/Rogue, and it’s built on the same CMF2 modular architecture as the two larger SUVs. Other noteworthy design similarities include the boomerang-shaped LED headlights and the curvature of the front clip and wheel wells.

2014 Nissan Pulsar rear

With the exterior out of the way, let’s talk about the part of the new Nissan Pulsar you can’t see – what’s under the hood. Nissan has adopted a policy of efficiency with their latest vehicles, and that trend continues here with a relatively low-displacement engine range. However, what the engines lack in size they make up for with technology; each and every engine option includes a turbocharger. As for the actual stats, you’ll find that the three engine options closely mirror those available in the Qashqai:

  1. 1.2 liter DIG-T (direct injection turbo) petrol engine with 113hp
  2. 1.5 liter dCi (direct common-rail injection) diesel engine with 110hp
  3. 1.6 liter DIG-T petrol engine with 187hp, although this one won’t join the range until early 2015.

Thanks to the sheer efficiency of the engine range, the Nissan Pulsar is able to achieve CO2 outputs below 95g/km at every level. But, the technology used in the Pulsar’s powertrain is only the tip of the iceberg… There are even more techy features inside.

2014 Nissan Pulsar trunk

Chief among them is Nissan’s advanced Safety Shield technology suite, a collection of systems that “combine to offer a fully comprehensive ‘safety net’ for drivers.” These include Forward Emergency Braking, Moving Object Detection, and Lane Departure and Blind Spot Warning.

The revived Nissan Pulsar will also offer the longest wheelbase in Europe’s C-segment at 2,700mm, or 8.8 feet. This translates into massive trunk space and an extremely spacious cabin. In fact, Nissan boasts that the 692mm of rear knee room is “more spacious than many D-segment offerings.” Unfortunately, one area in which the Japanese car maker has fallen down again is in the sheer blandness of the styling. There is no classic shape (like the Golf), nor any sense of excitement and innovation (such as you see in Citroen’s latest design). It’s destined to chug a long as a solid choice, but is unlikely to capture the hearts and minds of most consumers.

Unfortunately, as of right now it doesn’t look like the Nissan Pulsar will ever be available outside of Europe. The new hatchback will be manufactured in Nissan’s Barcelona factory, and will likely go on sale in the fall for something around 15,000 pounds, or about $25,000 at today’s exchange rates.

If you’d like to see a bit more of the new Nissan Pulsar, you can watch a short promo video for it below:


Nissan to Sell Rogue Select Alongside the Next-Gen 2014 Model Year

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Apparently, the current Nissan Rogue is so popular that the second largest Japanese automaker wants to continue offering the 10-year-old SUV in 2014 and possibly beyond. It will be renamed the Nissan Rogue Select, and it’ll be sold alongside the next-generation Rogue we saw last month at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. As you continue reading, we’ll discuss the specific reasons for this carry-over and what, if any, changes you can expect in the 2014 Rogue Select.

Is the Current Nissan Rogue Really That Popular?

Short answer: yes. The 2013 Nissan Rogue is the Nissan’s second-best-selling car in the US, with ~142K units sold in 2012. Sales are up 16 percent so far in 2013 and they don’t show any signs of slowing down. Consumers have shown how much they like the current Rogue, and Nissan sees no reason to take it away from them.

Fred Diaz, divisional VP of Sales and Marketing for Nissan NA, has an explanation for the current Rogue’s current and future success, “As the compact SUV segment is becoming very specialized, there is an opening for a low-cost, high-content offering, which is a gap that Rogue Select will fill.” In other words, an economical SUV that’s ordinary apart from being well-made and fun to drive is exactly what a lot of drivers are looking for.

As far as any possible cannibalization of the incoming 2014 Nissan Rogue’s sales, Diaz isn’t worried. The old-new Nissan Select will continue being built in Nissan’s Japanese plant while the new Rogue will be built in the new Tennessee plant. However, for the time being, the US-based plant actually can’t produce enough new 2014 Nissan Rogues to meet consumer demand. That’s why Diaz said, “The Rogue Select will allow Nissan to continue its strong performance in the segment, which will only get stronger once the all-new, U.S.-built 2014 Rogue goes on sale.”

Any Changes from the 2013 Rogue to the 2014 Rogue Select?

Aside from a base price that will apparently drop under $20,000? No, not that we know of.

It’s important to remember that these carried-over models are typically sold to fleet buyers, such as rental companies, who want a good deal on as many vehicles as possible.  While Nissan will undoubtedly sell a significant number of Rogue Selects to ordinary drivers in 2014, it seems likely that they’re really just trying to keep as many all-new Nissan Rogues in dealerships as possible.

All that to say we probably won’t see any mechanical changes between the 2013 Nissan Rogue and the 2014 Rogue Select.  There is some possibility that Nissan will add, remove or make adjustments to some of the current Rogue’s trim packages, but we won’t know for sure until closer to the Select’s launch in January 2014.

We’ll let you know if there are any significant updates, otherwise stay tuned for more Japanese carnews!


What Infiniti & Nissan Brought to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Doors opened to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show today. As you might expect from our previews last week, there are a ton of new Japanese cars to talk about. While we’d like to devote a full blog post to each new car and concept showcased in Frankfurt (we’re nothing if not thorough), unfortunately, it’s just not feasible. So, instead, we’re going to group our Frankfurt coverage by brand marque; we’ll start today with Nissan and Infiniti.

Infiniti Q30 Concept Targets “Younger Customers Coming Into the Premium Segment”

First up we have the highly anticipated Infiniti Q30 Concept. We’ve already seen lots of previews, so chances are you’re familiar with the design. What we didn’t know is that this vivacious five-door hatchback is going to be Infiniti’s first major push towards younger drivers. Apparently, Infiniti is prepared to acknowledge that the future of luxury is in youth, and so their “future growth in the premium sector is about more than shifting customer demographics.” It’s about shifting attitude; it’s about changing the way a premium car appeals to a buyer.

Towards that end, the Infiniti Q30 Concept is a self-acknowledged design mash-up. It’s undeniably attractive, but it doesn’t quite fit into the normal market segments. It’s technically labeled a hatchback, but no one would fault you for calling it a crossover. The goal here is to cast a wide net to a larger base of customers, and then hope that the Q30’s natural appeal and (we’re hoping) excellent drivability will move units off the lot.

Unfortunately, the one thing we knew nothing about – technical specs – is also the one thing Infiniti declined to share with us in Frankfurt.

Infiniti Announces a New Flagship Car

The Q30 Concept was Infiniti’s primary showcase in Frankfurt, but they made one other interesting announcement about their future flagship car.  This new upmarket vehicle is rumored to arrive in 6 years, and it will likely be built tuned with help from Red Bull Racing.

Unfortunately, that’s about all we know as Infiniti’s boss, Johan de Nysschen, deliberately withheld any further details. He said, “I’ll leave you to decide whether our new flagship is a saloon, coupe or supercar, but it will be a car. We won’t have an SUV like it is now.”

Nissan X-Trail / Rogue

Last, but not least, we have Nissan’s 2014 X-Trail, which is Nissan’s first car to be engineered with the new Renault-Nissan Common Module Family. For those of you don’t know, CMF is a platform designed to simplify research and development through the use of almost Lego-like components (very simplistic example) that can be applied to numerous vehicle classes and models. And FYI, the Q30 will also be built with CMF.

Nissan Rogue / X-Trail

Basically, we already knew most of what there is to know about the new Nissan X-Trail/Rogue. New features we saw in Frankfurt include a 3rd row of seats, a variety of new technologies in-cabin, and strangely enough, down-sized powertrain options.

Making the X-Trail’s engines smaller may seem odd, but Nissan says that, “By reducing power sapping friction in its drivetrains, new X-Trail provides excellent performance [compared to] the latest generation of downsized engines.” In other words, Nissan’s chosen efficiency over power, and that means smaller engines.

All in all, Nissan and Infiniti both had a great showing in Frankfurt. The Q30 looks just as appealing as it did last week, and the development about the X-Trail’s smaller engine options is certainly intriguing. If you’d like more coverage of Japanese cars shown at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, be sure to check back tomorrow for Toyota and Lexus.


Nissan Previews 2014 Rogue (Dualis) CUV for Frankfurt Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, August 24th, 2013

The 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show is just around the corner, and some of the most popular guests have already RSVP’d. Lexus is bringing their new RC-F Concept (probably), Toyota is bringing a new Hybrid-R Concept, Honda is bringing their new Civic Tourer, and even Infiniti has chimed in with their new Q30 Concept… Nissan is one of the few still left in the cold. That is, until today.

Earlier this morning, the second largest Japanese automaker published official word that they’ll be bringing the all-new 2014 Nissan Rogue to Frankfurt. Along with their extremely short press release, we got a single image of the new Rogue crossover, which you can find below:

Nissan 2014 Rogue CUV Teaser

Remind you of anything? I have to say, at least the style of this rendering is reminiscent of the Lexus mystery concept (ahem… the RC-F… ahem…) which we discussed earlier this week. But, I suppose there are only so many ways to preview a new vehicle. Either way, we have slightly more to go on for the 2014 Rogue then we did for the Lexus concept.

As you can see, this gives us a pretty good estimate of what the next generation Nissan Rogue will look like. That’s fortunate, because all Nissan is telling us is that, “The all-new 2014 Nissan Rogue will push the envelope of CUV design starting on September 10 when it is unveiled.” Not exactly a ton of information. But, here’s what we know:

First, the crossover market is exploding, and is well-documented as one of the trendiest spots for automakers to be right now. While the Rogue may be on the larger side compared to the likes of Nissan’s smaller Juke, it nicely stacks up against Toyota’s RAV4 and Honda’s CR-V. This is important to note because anytime you’re designing for a competitive market, aesthetics become top priority. Also note that while the Rogue is specifically an American nameplate, this new CUV will undoubtedly see international production, probably under the Qashqai model name in Europe, and the Dualis badge in Japan: Otherwise, why would Nissan premier it in Europe?

Put simply, the current Nissan Rogue doesn’t generate quite enough raw attraction to garner the drivership that Nissan wants. That’s why it’s no surprise that, even with the camouflage in place, the 2014 Nissan Rogue looks substantially edgier than the outgoing model… Like the leather-jacket-wearing bad boy who gets all the girls in the movies. In fact, I’d even make the comparison that the new Rogue takes more styling cues from Lexus than it does from its own marque.

Hey, maybe the similarities behind the two preview renderings are more deliberate than I’d first thought?

Of course, while the improved aesthetics will form the foundational appeal for the new Rogue CUV, there are certainly other noteworthy updates being made as well. Unfortunately, we don’t have quite as much information on the mechanical side of the new crossover. All we know is that it will be one of the first vehicles designed for the Japanese brand’s newly developed modular CMF chassis. Beyond that, you’ll have to wait with the rest of us for the big reveal on September 10th. Until then, thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Japanese car updates!

Source: Car Scoops, Motor Authority, Autoblog