- Nissan Qashqai, 2012
In line with its Pure Drive strategy, Nissan continues to innovate to improve CO2 and fuel economy performance to deliver no compromise, real benefits for consumers. As part of this strategy Nissan is introducing a new Pure Drive version of the top selling Nissan Qashqai equipped with a new state-of-the-art 1.6 dCi engine.
The new engine is the perfect example of Nissan's Pure Drive strategy, replacing the previous 2.0 dCi with a more efficient engine that not only delivers lower emissions and considerably improved levels of fuel economy but which offers the same level of performance as the bigger engine.
Best of all, when coupled with Nissan's Stop / Start system CO2 emissions tumble to just 119 g/km.
At the same time, innovative new options become available on the Nissan Qashqai range, including a new CVT gearbox and, for the first time on a C-segment car, Around View Monitor. AVM uses a series of small cameras located on the exterior of the vehicle to make parking and manoeuvering as safe as possible by giving the driver a real-time helicopter view of the environment around the car.
The moves underline Nissan's leadership of the booming Crossover market and keep Nissan Qashqai one, or even two, steps ahead of its opposition.
The new engine and Stop / Start System has been a joint development between Europe and Japan with Alliance Partner Renault concentrating on the engine and Nissan perfecting the automatic cut off system. It had been originally hoped to introduce the two elements at the same time.
Unfortunately the tragic earthquake which affected Japan so badly at the start of the year has led to a short delay in the manufacture of the Stop / Start System's electronic components. As a result, Nissan Qashqai models built between now and December and powered by the new engine will not have Stop / Start. But even without the system, CO2 emissions are a still impressive 129g/km. From January production, however, Stop / Start System will become a standard feature.
The Pure Drive designation is given to every Nissan product that emits 130g/km of CO2 or less. On its introduction the 'cut off' point was 140g, but as part of the Nissan Green Programme membership of this exclusive club gets tougher all the time. The programme will instigate a further drop to 120g in 2013.
Nissan's Pure Drive champion is, naturally, the zero emission 100% electric Nissan LEAF but the recently introduced Nissan Micra DIG-S heads the conventionally-powered cars. Its technically advanced three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engine uses direct injection and a supercharger to deliver brisk performance but with excellent fuel economy and CO2 emissions of just 95 g/km.
The Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi
Available on both Nissan Qashqai and Qashqai +2 models, the new dCi engine has been jointly developed with Alliance partner Renault.
Its arrival in Qashqai is in line with Nissan's policy of 'penalty-free' engine downsizing: the 1.6-litre direct injection diesel engine gives the fuel economy and emissions expected from an engine of its size, but with power and torque figures anticipated from a 2.0-litre engine.
Notably compact, the engine, which displaces 1598cc, is a state-of-the-art unit with more than 30 patents registered representing an investment of €230 million.
Thanks to its 130PS, it is the most powerful of its size in the world while its peak torque figure - an exceptional 320Nm: exactly the same as the 2.0-litre dCi it is replacing - is developed at only 1,750rpm with some 80 per cent available from a mere 1,500 rpm. The resulting dynamic performance lifts the latest Nissan Qashqai well above the 1.6-litre class norm: top speed is 190 km/h, with 0-100 km/h taking 10.3 secs.
But this performance gain is not at the expense of the environment. Its combined cycle fuel consumption (NEDC) is 24 per cent better than the 2.0 dCi - 4.5 l/100km as against 5.9 l/100km - while it produces much lower CO2 emissions - 119 g/km rather than 155 g/km.
These figures refer to the 2wd manual version of Nissan Qashqai: the equivalent Qashqai+2 with Stop / Start System produces 123g/km, while figures for 4wd versions are 135g and 139g respectively.
High Technology Inspiration
The starting point for the engineering team was 'square' architecture, allowing large-diameter valves to be housed in the cylinder head for more efficient filling of the combustion chambers. It's a technique inspired by motor racing and seldom seen in modern diesel road car engines.
Reducing the weight of the cylinder block, cutting mechanical losses and reducing dynamic forces have resulted in the best balance between fuel consumption and performance.
Stop / Start System
The 1.6 dCi features Stop / Start System. Reducing CO2 on a mass-market car to 119g/km brings real economic as well as environmental benefits for many consumers.
Smart Energy Management
Stop / Start System is combined with alternator regeneration, using deceleration energy to charge the battery. The regenerative braking system alone is responsible for a 3% reduction in CO2
Cold-Loop, Low-Pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)
The dCi engine is the first to have been developed in Europe using cold-loop, low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation. By recycling the exhaust gas at a lower temperature, emissions of nitrogen oxides and CO2 are reduced.
The system uses a valve located in the cooling circuit upstream of the cylinder head and cylinder block. When the engine starts from cold, the valve is closed and prevents water from circulating around the combustion chambers. This allows the engine to reach its ideal working temperature more quickly, optimizing combustion efficiency.
Internal friction is also reduced thanks to the quicker warm-up of the oil. The result? More power, lower fuel consumption and lower emissions.
Variable Displacement Oil Pump
Unlike a conventional oil pump which has a fixed capacity, the Variable flow pump delivers only the right amount of oil to avoid unnecessary energy loss. The power needed to drive the oil pump is minimized and varies with engine speed.
Variable Swirl Technology
'Swirl' describes the phenomenon of air rotating inside the cylinder, much like a cyclone. As a result the air-fuel mix is optimised for engine speed conditions reducing fuel consumption, while also minimising the emission of CO2 and other pollutants like nitrogen oxides and particulates.
Among many other refinements, considerable attention was paid to the new engine's acoustic performance thanks to advanced work on combustion in order to deal with noise generation at source. Customers get a smooth, quality, refined ride experience.
Around View Monitor
Qashqai will be available with Nissan's Around View Monitor: it's the first time such an innovative feature has been available on a C-segment car.
In fact, Nissan was the first manufacturer to introduce Around View Monitor anywhere in the world - made available in Japan on the Nissan Elgrand in 2007. In Europe the system has most recently been seen on the Infiniti EX and iconic FX
Combining the feeds from small cameras mounted on the front grille, tailgate and both door mirrors, the system projects an overhead 360° 'helicopter view' of the area around the vehicle onto the Nissan Connect satellite navigation and infotainment screen.
A natural progression from the rear facing parking camera pioneered by Nissan - its first application was on the 2002 Nissan Primera - Around View Monitor makes parking or slow speed manoeuvres simple and safe. The 360° helicopter view gives the driver a clear indication of obstacles around the car. The system switches on automatically when the car is placed in reverse or, while driving up to 10 km/h, by pressing the "camera" button on dashboard; then it switches off once the car has reached a set speed.
If preferred the feed from each camera can be displayed individually and the system can operate as a simple reversing camera which incorporates course lines on the screen to guide the driver to the correct path into the chosen parking spot.
Around View Monitor will make it first appearance on equipment laden special versions of Nissan Qashqai and Qashqai+2 due early 2012. As well as Nissan Connect and AVM - the two systems are interlinked - the special versions will also feature a full-length panoramic glass roof and smart dual tone black and silver 18inch alloy wheels. AVM will also be optionally available on Acenta and Tekna versions (depending on markets).
New CVT gearbox
The latest generation of Nissan developed continuously variable transmission will be introduced on 117PS 1.6-litre petrol-powered Nissan Qashqai models early 2012. The CVT version will increase Qashqai's market coverage.
The Nissan Qashqai range
Since its launch in March 2007, the Nissan Qashqai has redefined Europe's mid-size hatchback market. Designed and built in Europe, Qashqai - the original Crossover - adopted a genuinely fresh approach to a traditional, conservative sector of the market... and Nissan's bold stance has been a resounding success.
In under five years, European sales of Nissan Qashqai and its seven-seat sister Qashqai+2 have exceeded 1,000,000 units, with more than 80 per cent of sales going to first time Nissan buyers. The longer Qashqai+2 arrived in the autumn of 2008 to expand the appeal of the range still further.
March 2010 saw the first major change to Nissan Qashqai as a refreshed model was introduced to help it maintain its class-leading sales performance, a move that surprised many competitors who, at the time, were still playing catch up and had yet to bring their own crossovers to market.
There were visual changes including a new bonnet, grille, wings and new headlamps at the front and new rear lights and a re-profiled tailgate at the rear. The changes were set off by fresh designs of alloy wheel. Discreet aerodynamic improvements, including the adoption of full-length underbody panels, saw the CD figure fall to 0.33. As well as smoothing the airflow under the car, the panels helped reduce noise intrusion into the cabin.
Inside there were easier to read instruments and a great emphasis on quality with new materials, new colours and other subtle touches for a feeling of increased sophistication. Mechanically a number of small changes enhanced the vehicle's dynamics still further. Dampers were retuned for improved body control, reduced noise and better bump-thump absorption while the steering feel was also improved.
The basic mechanical layout remained unchanged with front- or ALL MODE four-wheel drive and fully independent suspension by sub-frame mounted struts at the front and a multi-link rear.
With the arrival of the new 1.6 dCi engine, the range line-up now encompasses two petrol and three diesel offerings. The entry-level 1.6-litre petrol develops 117PS while the 2.0-litre petrol produces 140PS. The entry-level diesel is the 110PS 1.5 dCi, while the 150PS 2.0-litre dCi unit remains to power the automatic 4WD version only. As before, the range runs through Visia, Acenta and Tekna specifications with the special version featuring a high level of equipment as well as reinforced exterior Crossover design.