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.