Japanese carmaker Nissan developed the new QASHQAI, a passenger car with SUV attributes. The elegance, agility and sheer ability are being offered using different packages. Its distinctive styling is a marriage of the sleek shape of a passenger car with the strength of a 4x4 to create something new, fresh and different in the new car market. It will be built in England and the full production is due to start towards the end of 2006, with sales starting early in 2007. QASHQAI offers a choice of two and four-wheel drive and no fewer than 4 engines, two diesel and two petrol units. The range starts with a 1.6-liter Petrol capable of developing 115 PS and a 1.5-liter diesel capable of producing 106 PS. Petrol and diesels 2.0-liter engines develop 140 PS and 150 PS respectively.
Unique is an oft misused word, but not when mentioned in connection with the new Nissan QASHQAI. A passenger car with SUV attributes, QASHQAI really does bring unique qualities to one of the most conservative sectors of the new car market.
"There's change in the air. As consumers, we are no longer prepared to put up with the dull or the conventional. We want something new, something different... especially when it comes to cars. Well, thanks to the Nissan QASHQAI something different has arrived. You need never drive a boring car again." Carlos Tavares, Executive Vice President, Product Planning and Corporate Strategy, Nissan Motor Co Ltd
Nissan's new QASHQAI is a catalyst for change. A totally new vehicle in a totally new sector of the car market, QASHQAI mixes elegance, agility and sheer ability in one very different package.
The QASHQAI is same size as a Ford Focus yet smaller than a typical compact SUV, and promises the driving comfort and fun of the former with the ability and practicality of the latter.
Its distinctive styling is a marriage of the sleek shape of a passenger car with the strength of a 4x4 to create something fresh and different in the new car market.
Named after a desert-dwelling nomadic tribe living near the Zagros mountains in South Western Iran, QASHQAI (say it Kash-Kai) should be seen as an 'Urban Nomad', says Design Director at Nissan Design Europe, Stephane Schwarz.
"It is a car of contrasts for a world of contrasts," he says. "It is tough and compact for the city but sleek and agile for journeys away from the town. It reflects our personalities, our imagination."
Although initial design concepts started in Japan, most of QASHQAI's design and development work has been undertaken in Europe, notably at Nissan Design Europe in London and at Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE) in Cranfield also in the UK. It will be built at Sunderland in Nissan's award-winning plant in the North East of England. Full production is due to start towards the end of 2006, with sales starting early in 2007.
QASHQAI's dynamic exterior is matched by a asymetric interior, providing a focused cockpit environment for the driver and a relaxing space for the occupants. High seating positions provide the sense of security normally found in an SUV, yet QASHQAI is a more dynamic performer with the accelerative and handling capabilities of a hatchback.
QASHQAI offers a choice of two and four-wheel drive and no fewer than four engines, two diesel and two petrol. The engine range starts with a 1.6-litre 115PS (84kW) petrol and 1.5 dCi diesel developing 106PS (78kW). A pair of petrol and diesel 2.0-litre engines develop 140PS (103kW) and 150PS (110kW) respectively.
Five and six-speed manual transmissions, six-speed automatic and an advanced CVT gearbox are available.
The carefully conceived interior is crammed with intelligent storage solutions for maximum functionality and flexibility, while - as is to be expected from a Nissan - only features that make a difference, rather than technology for technology's sake, can be found either as standard or on the options list. These include a large panoramic glass roof, automatic headlights and wipers, satellite navigation, reversing camera and Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phones.
Nissan's highly praised electronically controlled ALL-MODE 4x4 system - as pioneered in X-TRAIL - is available on 2.0-litre versions. Despite having greater ground clearance than an ordinary hatchback, however, QASHQAI's four-wheel drive is there to provide greater traction for safer driving and extra control in all weathers: QASHQAI has not been designed as a go-anywhere 4x4.
Safe and secure
Safety is a key strength of the vehicle, too. A rigid bodyshell providing maximum passive safety is matched by a plethora of active safety features including the latest generation ESP which includes brake torque control and engine torque control. The braking system is similarly advanced and features hydraulic fade compensation (HFC) to provide the ultimate stopping power at all times.
Who will buy QASHQAI? In the same way the car doesn't conform to the norm, so its customers will tend to be individuals with their own agendas. They will be open-minded and progressive with a passionate appetite for life. They are not among life's spectators.
"QASHQAI is bold, imaginative and exciting. And it is very different to every other car currently on sale. With QASHQAI, Nissan is determined to SHIFT_ convention," said Carlos Tavares, Executive Vice President, Product Planning and Corporate Strategy, Nissan Motor Co Ltd.
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