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Smarter than a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid? New Nissan X-Trail e-Power to debut in April

The new Nissan X-Trail - which is based on the Nissan Rogue pictured - will be packing some clever hybrid tech.

The next Nissan X-Trail will be unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show next month, with the mid-size SUV packing some seriously clever electrification that Nissan hopes will force shoppers to think twice about the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

The new X-Trail will break cover in China around April 21, and by far the most exciting development will be the inclusion of Nissan's own e-Power hybrid technology, which works a little differently to the convention hybrid systems you might be familiar with.

Nissan's e-Power hybrid tech sees an electric motor deployed to exclusively drive the wheels, with the conventional engine only ever used to recharge the battery pack, which is then used to power the electric motor, and so on.

The result is an electrified vehicle that never requires plugging in, with Nissan touting fuel use that's up to 50-per-cent lower than when using a conventional engine alone.

So which engine would be used? Japanese media are pointing to the new X-Trail being fitted with the Qashqai's e-Power powertrain, namely a 140kW and 330Nm electric motor driving the wheels, and a 115kW, 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine powering the battery.

"The e-POWER system offers the best transition technology between ICE and EV, allowing users to enjoy exhilarating EV driving sensations and impressive efficiency at an affordable price point," said Nissan's regional senior vice president of research and development, David Moss, at the unveiling of the new Qashqai.

While Nissan in Australia is yet to announce timing for the new X-Trail, we expect the new model to touch down in late 2021 or early 2022, and we know the brand is excited about the potential for e-Power in our market.

“There’s not much limitation in what or where or how e-Power can be used," Nissan Australia boss Stephen Lester has told us previously.

“And as we’ve said in our midterm plan (Nissan’s global roadmap for the next three years released in June), we expect to have 30 per cent of our portfolio with electrified power, and e-Power gives us full electric to the wheels experience, in addition to potentially some other fully electrified product."