Nissan vows to endow the second-generation Qashqai compact crossover with innovative new looks when it rolls the model out early 2014. Andy Palmer, Nissan’s global head of product planning, told Automotive News Europe that changing the looks of the Qashqai comes with a risk, noting that “if you're a leader in a segment, I think you should innovate."
With the disclosure, the second-generation Qashqai would sport major differences with the current model, Palmer said. Nissan provided a glimpse of its future plans for the crossover segment with the Resonance Concept it unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January 2013. Nissan says the Resonance concept is meant to be “provocative, energetic and engaging – even polarizing.”
The carmaker said the concept’s “edgy yet sophisticated design” provides a clear view into the future of crossover innovation. Nissan plans to unveil the new-generation Qashqai in November 2013, with production planned to commence in December, a spokesman disclosed.
The new Qashqai will still target the same market, according to European head of sales and marketing Paul Willcox. Nissan will base the next-generation Qashqai with its new Common Module Family (CMF) platform, which will also underpin the majority of compacts sold in Europe and elsewhere by the Nissan and Renault. Palmer confirmed that the CMF's platform has been designed to house a hybrid drivetrain.
He declined to disclose whether the new-generation Qashqai will offer a variant with a hybrid powertrain, but said Nissan will introduce a plug-in hybrid model in Europe by 2015. Nissan’s global head of product planning remarked that from an economics point of view, plug-in hybrids are beginning to make sense in Europe considering the regulations in the region.