Nissan today premiered its new compact crossover vehicle at an event in Paris. The Qashqai is a new vehicle for Europe, inspired by the concept car of the same name presented at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show.
Design of the car was led by Nissan Design Europe (NDE) and it represents the first new production vehicle to be carried out at NDE since its move to London in 2003. The development programme was led by Nissan Technical Centre Europe which is based in Cranfield here in England.
More significantly, the Qashqai will be built in Nissan’s UK plant at Sunderland, not only for European sales, but also for export to Japan (where it will be named Dualis), the Middle East and other overseas markets. The decision to build in the UK should serve to re-inforce the Sunderland factory’s solid reputation as the most consistently productive car plant in Europe, with a highly skilled, highly motivated British workforce.
The Qashqai is described as a crossover – effectively a passenger car with a sleek dynamic top half combined with SUV attributes of large pronounced wheel arches and slightly elevated ground clearance. In terms of its size its sits between C-segment hatchbacks and SUVs.
Four engine options will be available, two diesel (1.5 & 2.0 litres) and two petrol (1.6 & 2.0 litres) offerings whilst there are several gearbox options including a five & six speed manual, a new six speed automatic and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) option with manual mode.
Nissan’s President and CEO, Carlos Ghosn said in Paris ‘We expect Qashqai will sell more than 100,00 units a year on average across Europe – with 80 per cent of those customers buying a Nissan for the first time.’