It may be fitted with a gas-powered engine, but it operates as an electric vehicle.
In January, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance announced it would be investing an additional $26 billion over the next five years, as the three manufacturers tackle the electromobility sphere. With 35 new models to be introduced by 2035, the trio is ensuring it isn't left behind in the near future. The Nissan Ariya is part of this initiative, with the fully-electric SUV expected locally very soon.
The Japanese manufacturer has now shared further insight into another of its electrified systems, called e-Power. Found on the latest Nissan Qashqai (known to US consumers as the Rogue Sport), the brand says the system is a "key component in the company's Intelligent Mobility strategy."
The brand notes European crossover drivers spend up to 70% of their time commuting in urban areas. The e-Power system caters to that crowd, offering the driving pleasure associated with an EV and superb gas mileage. So, how does it work?
A 156-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter with a variable compression ratio works together with a power generator, inverter, and electric motor. The gas engine generates the electricity needed which, depending on the driving situation, can be sent to the battery pack, electric motor, or both. Unlike other hybrid setups, the e-Power Qashqai gains its power solely from the electric motor, which gives smooth and immediate response courtesy of the instant torque.
Nissan says the idea behind the innovative drivetrain is to provide all the benefits associated with an EV without the need to charge. The total power output is rated at 188 hp. Naturally, CO2 emissions are reduced and gas mileage is greatly improved. The brand says the Qashqai e-Power is capable of achieving a rating of 5.3 liters/100 kilometers (approximately 44.4 mpg), but this has most likely been calculated on the WLTP drive cycle.
"We've developed the e-Power system to run as efficiently, effectively, and as quietly as possible. But there is no compromise to the driving performance. Acceleration is instant," said the company's David Moss.
Like a pure electric car, e-Power can also charge the battery with regenerative braking. In the e-Pedal driving mode, the Qashqai can provide deceleration of up to 0.2 g when the driver lifts off the accelerator. As anyone who has piloted a CVT-equipped vehicle can attest, the difference between engine and road speed can be rather unsettling. To that end, the system is fitted with Linear Tune.
This, says Nissan, governs the engine and increases the speed to "meet the motor's energy demands as the car accelerates." The compact crossover will be made available to European customers in late Summer 2022, with pricing likely to be announced before then. It would be great to see Nissan introduce the technology stateside, as it provides the perfect middle ground for buyers wanting to make the slow transition over to electric vehicles. Currently, the cheapest electric vehicle offered locally by the brand is the Nissan Leaf.
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