Posts Tagged ‘x-trail’

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.

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:

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.