The next-generation Nissan Qashqai, which is set to debut in 2020, will reportedly gain two electrified variants featuring new hybrid powertrains. According to a report by Auto Express, the popular SUV is also set to get a major styling overhaul, but there won’t be a pure-electric version just yet.

One of the two will likely feature Nissan’s e-Power system, which basically is an electric car with an internal combustion engine that acts as a range extender. In the Nissan Note e-Power, the engine functions purely to recharge the battery, and is not in any way attached to the driveline. “We’re investigating the e-Power technology for Europe,” said Ponz Pandikuthira, Nissan Europe’s vice president of product planning.

“The biggest difference when you do these onboard generator vehicles is highway driving; in Japan, they typically don’t go above 50-65 mph (80 to 105 km/h). Here in Europe, you do 80-85 mph (128 to 137 km/h) on a regular basis. At those speeds, you end up depleting the battery very quickly, so the range extender has to work really hard to keep the energy going and then it goes out of its range of efficiency,” he explained.

The second hybrid could be a plug-in hybrid, with technologies derived from Mitsubishi. However, Pandikuthira isn’t convinced on the benefits of PHEVs. “We’re not pursuing a big plug-in hybrid strategy. On some car lines we’ll try it out, but the business case for plug-in hybrids is not very good. For us, it’s a bridge technology for the next two to four years until battery costs drop to the point where the variable costs of making full EVs prevail,” he said.

For platform, the report states that the next Qashqai will be based on a new version of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s CMF (Common Module Family) architecture that accommodates hybrid technology.

Pandikuthira told the publication: “we are looking at a new platform because that’s what’s best to accommodate electrified technologies. It probably won’t include full electrification, because that’s a complete tear-up and the investment required for that would be considerably higher.”

The next Qashqai could benefit from Mitsubishi’s plug-in hybrid technologies

Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that the facelifted Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has already managed to achieve CO2 figures below the strict 50g/km mark under the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). Expect the Qashqai PHEV to offer similar figures.

Again, the Qashqai will not be available as a full electric vehicle, but Nissan is expected to produce a range of EVs based on an all-new platform that will underpin a whole family of electric cars. That includes vehicles in the B-, C- and D-segment, everything from the Juke to the X-Trail. Expect more technologies, such as a more advanced ProPilot autonomous driving to be featured as well.

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