Nissan X-Trail hybrid set for 2022 launch
Pictures of the next Nissan X-Trail have leaked online via Instagram, showing the new SUV both inside and out. The Kia Sorento rival will adopt hybrid technology from 2022 in an attempt to lower the brand’s overall CO2 emissions. The setup will also appear in the smaller Nissan Qashqai, and there’s a possibility that the Nissan Juke crossover will follow suit.
The car, badged Rogue in these pictures, looks familiar from the rear but its front end takes inspiration from its more modern Juke sibling. It looks to inherit that car's V-shaped grille and sharp daytime running lights, switching the round headlamps for more conventional units. The high roofline suggests the next-generation X-Trail will maintain the existing car’s seven-seat layout.
Inside, the changes are even more stark. It looks as if the X-Trail will get a set of completely new and fully-digital dials, with a navigation module flanked by a rev counter on one side and a speedo on the other. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto look to feature, alongside dual-zone climate control and a large central touchscreen.
News of Nissan's plans to shy away from plug-in hybrid technology in favour of conventional hybrid and pure-electric powertrains was reported by our sister title Auto Express last year. As expected, there’s no sign of an additional filler cap – either in these latest leaked pictures, or the previous patent drawings that surfaced earlier this year.
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has a long history of hybrid powertrains. However, much of its focus has been on plug-ins; the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV had a hugely positive impact on the company’s fortunes when it launched back in 2013, while Renault has recently revealed plug-in hybrid versions of its Megane and Captur small family cars.
It’s not clear which setup the Nissan would use, but it's likely to stem from the company's e-Power range, which isn't currently sold in the UK. Mitsubishi is in the process of developing an improved plug-in hybrid system for use in its Outlander replacement, but it's not thought the Nissan will make use of this.
If Nissan was to go down the e-Power route, it's likely the X-Trail would offer only a very short electric range – perhaps as little as one or two miles – instead choosing to focus on lowering engine load for more efficient driving around town. This shouldn't affect Nissan's ability to offer front and four-wheel-drive options of the new X-Trail SUV.
With the current X-Trail approaching six years old, a new version is likely to be revealed later this year, with a European launch in 2022. Given the increased pressure on manufacturers to lower overall CO2 emissions, Nissan isn’t expected to delay the launch of its hybrid model – meaning an electrified e-Power version could appear alongside the standard model from the off.