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2021 Nissan Qashqai timing revealed! Hybrid power locked in for new Toyota C-HR, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross rival

e-Power is confirmed for the new-generation Nissan Qashqai, giving it an electric edge over some of its rivals.

Nissan has confirmed it will uncover its hotly anticipated new-generation Qashqai in the second quarter of next year, with the box-fresh small SUV expected in Australian showrooms in late 2021 or early 2022.

The Japanese brand has also revealed that the new Qashqai will come with a choice of two engines, both electrified, to take the hybrid fight right to the likes of the Toyota C-HR, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, Subaru XV and Mazda MX-30.

The first engine will be a 1.3-litre petrol engine paired with mild-hybrid technology that is available in two states of tune, though it is likely an evolution of the same engine found in the similarly sized Renault Kadjar that delivers 117kW/260Nm in Australia.

Like other mild-hybrid systems, the Qashqai can recoup energy when braking for use under acceleration, as well as when coasting or extending start/stop functions to improve fuel economy.

However, the new-gen Qashqai will also score Nissan’s efficient e-Power system that uses a small internal combustion engine to charge the battery, which in turns powers the electric motor that drives the wheels.

What this means is that the Qashqai e-Power will drive like a full battery electric vehicle, delivering instantaneous torque off the line and linear acceleration, while never needing hours to charge as it can be refuelled like any traditional vehicle.

Either way, the new Qashqai boasts improved aerodynamics thanks to its flat floor, active grille and optimised front fascia to boost efficiencies of both powertrains, though exact fuel consumption figures are still unknown.

Another key improvement in the new Qashqai will be the updated ProPilot with Navi-link advanced driver assistance system, bringing with it adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, traffic sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking.

Built on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s CMF-C platform, the new-generation Qashqai’s underpinnings will be an evolution of the current small SUV (as well as the Renault Kadjar, Megane and Koleos).

Jumping to a new generation means a strengthened body structure and reduced weight thanks to the use of aluminium for the doors, front fenders and hood.

While other new models continue to expand their footprint, Nissan says it is keeping the proportions of the new Qashqai close to what they are now, leaving enough room to manoeuvre around tight inner-city streets, as well as afford owners a capacious interior.

Underneath is a Macpherson strut set-up front and rear, while front-drive versions fitted with wheels up to 19 inches will sport a torsion beam rear, whereas variants with all-wheel-drive or 20-inch wheels score a multi-link configuration.

Nissan is also touting an update to its power-steering system for increased feel and feedback.

Styling is yet to be shown but expect to see aesthetics inline with the upcoming X-Trail (called Rogue in the US), with elements of the futuristic Ariya EV thrown in too.

Nissan says it has retained the “elegant design, enhanced packaging and efficient powertrain” characteristics of the previous Qashqai generations, and is aiming to “raise the bar in the crossover segment” with the new model.