Nomad... Nissan Qashqai is named after
an Iranian tribe.
15 September 2006.
Named after a desert-dwelling
nomadic tribe living near the Zagros mountains in
South Western Iran, Nissan’s new Qashqai (pronounced
Kash-Kai) is meant to combine two entities: ‘Urban
Nomad’. Urban during the week, and nomad in week-end
Work on Qashqai began in 2003, with
the development of a show car that broke cover at the
2004 Geneva Motor Show. Although different from the
concept in a number of areas, the production version
of Qashqai retains its core crossover rationale.
are sculpted in both front and rear.
Inside, Qashqai’s major and minor
controls have been wrapped around the driver, who is
separated from the front seat passenger by an
unusually high centre console. Incorporating a cutaway
section on the driver’s side for the handbrake, the
centre console also houses twin cup holders and a
storage box with integrated sliding armrest. Just
behind the short-throw gear lever comes the All-Mode
four-wheel drive switch.
Seats are sculpted in both front
and rear. The front ones have side bolsters with a
high foam density. The rear ones, which fold on a
60/40 split, offer optimum comfort for two, although
Qashqai is a full five seater with three point safety
belts for all occupants.
power steering checks speed inputs
every 40 milliseconds.
With the rear seats folded, the
load floor is flat from tailgate to the back of the
front seats (in cars with a full size spare wheel) or
virtually flat when a space saver spare is
With minimal intrusion from the
fully independent multi-link rear suspension
components, the maximum width in the trunk is 1100mm
while the loading height is 778mm.
There is no need to remove the head
restraints before folding the rear seat.
The cargo space with the rear
tonneau cover in place is 387 litres (306 litres with
a full size spare).
Available as an option for the
four-wheel drive versions, the panoramic glass
roof is1037mm by 880mm, covering both rows of
seats. It is made from laminated privacy glass, which
filters out damaging UV rays and reduce sunlight heat
in the cabin. A one-touch electrically operated
sunshade can add further protection from the sun.
Suspension - The front
suspension features a sub-frame mounted strut-type
system with combined coil-over-strut assemblies and a
forward lower link. The sub-frame has compliant rubber
mounts to isolate road noise and vibration from the
platform. A front anti-roll bar is attached directly
to the strut assembly for more effective control of
body roll under cornering, while high performance
Sachs shock absorbers maintain road-manners.
sat nav package includes a colour rear
At the rear, a fully
independent multi-link suspension is adopted for
precise handling and high-speed stability. Attached to
the vehicle via a rigid rear subframe to keep unwanted
noise and vibrations to a minimum, the compact
assembly features an aluminium rear upper link to
reduce weight: the saving is in the region of
4kg. The rear shock absorbers are tilted to
minimise intrusion into the trunk area.
Wheels and tyres -
Depending on the version, Qashqai is equipped with 16
inch steel or alloy wheels shod with 215/65R16 tyres
or 17 inch broad spoke alloys with unusual ball shaped
bolt surrounds. The 17 inch wheel has 215/60R 17
Electric power steering -An
electric power steering (EPS) system offers
greater assistance at lower speeds with more steering
feel provided as speeds rise. It checks speed inputs
every 40 milliseconds and is speed sensitive to 0.01
km/h. It is tuned specifically for European tastes to
give a strong self-centering action at lower engine
speeds for easier town driving and greater feel at
Braking - Standard
all round discs brakes come with anti-lock (ABS),
Brake Assist (maintains maximum deceleration during an
emergency stop) and Electronic Brake Force
Distribution. EBD constantly alters the front - rear
balance to achieve optimum brake performance,
automatically compensating for differing load
All-Mode 4x4 - Developed by
Nissan, Qashqai’s four-wheel drive system - the
All-Mode 4x4 - uses electronics to handle all traction
Unlike some automatic four-wheel
drive systems with dual hydraulic pumps, All-Mode uses
advanced electronics to transfer drive between wheels
and axles the instant a problem arises.
Under normal conditions, Qashqai
operates in front-wheel drive to reduce energy losses
and save on fuel. As soon as wheel slippage is
detected, a centre clutch in the rear final drive is
electronically activated and drive is correctly
apportioned between front and rear axles.
four-wheel drive switch: 2WD
(front-wheels), Auto and Lock.
Three drive mode settings -
The All-Mode 4x4 system has three modes, selected via
a switch on the centre console. In 2WD,
the system is permanently set in front-wheel drive,
for fine weather on-road use. With the Lock
position, the system switches to permanent four-wheel
drive mode with drive split 57:43 front to rear.
Auto is normally the most
often used mode: the system is left to its own
devices. Sensors linking the engine’s ECU with the
four-wheel drive and ABS controller constantly monitor
wheel slippage and automatically send signals to the
electromagnetic centre clutch mounted just ahead of
the rear axle to apportion torque correctly.
Left in Auto, the system will
automatically compensate for unexpected slippery
Electronic systems - The
All-Mode 4x4 is linked to Bosch’s 8th generation
Electronic Stability Programme (ESP). Using sensors
linked to the brakes, steering, wheels and the body
itself, ESP constantly monitors the way the car is
high centre console between the driver
and the front passenger.
From the steering angle and wheel
speeds, ESP calculates what manoeuvres the driver
intends to perform and, with signals sent from the
yaw-rate and lateral acceleration sensors, it
recognises whether the vehicle might skid off course.
In an emergency, ESP reacts by selectively applying
the brakes at each wheel, helping to bring the vehicle
back to the desired direction.
Among the other electronic control
systems in the Qashqai are cornering brake control
(CBC) and EUC, which stands for enhanced understeer
control. In the latter case, the system applies
the brakes to all four wheels to reduce excessive
understeer. Finally, hydraulic fade compensation
(HFC) prevents brake fade after a period of heavy
Engines - Of the
four engines available to power Qashqai, the two
petrol units are Nissan designs while both common rail
diesels have been developed by Alliance partner
Petrol Engine - The entry-level petrol engine
was originally developed for the recently released
Micra SR and Note. An all-aluminium unit displacing
1598cc, power and torque have increased slightly for
its new application to 115PS (84kW) and 160Nm of
torque, with an improvement of 5PS and 7Nm.
Some 25kg lighter than Nissan’s
previous 1.6-litre petrol unit, this engine has four
valves per cylinder, variable valve timing,
multi-point port injection and vane-type continuous
intake cam phasing.
optional panoramic glass roof
covers both rows of seats.
Engine - Almost as compact as the 1.6
engine, the 2.0-litre petrol unit is a new lightweight
engine that currently powers the Japanese market
Lafesta. All-aluminium with 16 valves, it displaces
1997cc and develops 140PS (103kW) and 200Nm of torque.
Some 90 per cent of that torque is available from
Diesel Engine - Since diesel is
accounting for a growing proportion of sales in the
C-segment, Qashqai has two diesel offerings. Both dCi
units have second-generation common rail direct
injection for improved performance, refinement and
The entry-level diesel uses the
most powerful version of Renault’s 16 valve 1.5 dCi
(K9K) engine developing 106PS (78kW) and 240Nm of
torque. It features a flexible flywheel to filter
out the effects of acyclic movements. Specifically
developed to comply with Euro 4 legislation the engine
has a lowered compression ratio (16:1) and a variable
geometry, multi-blade turbocharger.
Diesel Engine - The 2.0 dCi is a brand
new engine fitted with a Bosch
piezoelectric-controlled injection system to develop
150PS (110kW) and 320Nm of torque. Piezoelectric
technology gives very precise and fast control
allowing a ‘five squirt’ injection cycle: two
pre-squirts, one main squirt and two post-squirts.
space of 387 litres before
folding the 60/40 split rear seats.
The pre-squirts improve engine
acoustics by minimizing the characteristic diesel
clatter. The post-squirts sustain the main injection
combustion, to burn off soot and thus bring down
pollutant emissions before the exhaust gases have even
left the combustion chamber.
Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR)
produces a controlled temperature rise in the
combustion chamber to reduce pollutant emission levels
(NOx) and thus enhance the engine’s overall
environment performance, ensuring its compliance with
Euro 4 legislation.
The 2.0 dCi is equipped as standard
with a Diesel Particulate Filter
(DPF) with a periodic regeneration system. When the
particulates that have been collected from the engine
emissions reach a specified level, the engine runs a
process called thermal regeneration, performing a
second post-injection to overheat the exhaust gas.
Above a certain temperature, the soot in the filter
oxidizes off, and the filter can continue trapping
With its aluminium bedplate, the
bottom of the engine is designed for higher efficiency
and improved vibration absorption, with twin counter
rotating balancer shafts to cancel crankshaft rotary
Gearboxes - The
1.5 dCi drives the front wheels through a new
six-speed manual transmission. Two-wheel drive
versions of the 2.0dCi also use the six-speed manual,
while the four-wheel drive version offers a choice
between the six-speed manual and six-speed automatic
The CVT option
is a computer controlled ‘stepless’ transmission
providing a virtually limitless number of ratios,
ensuring the engine is always working as efficiently
as possible, resulting in smoother acceleration as
well as better fuel economy and lower emissions.
On a long uphill drive, a
conventional automatic can hesitate with regular down
shifts, as the engine hunts for power. With CVT, the
engine revs stay constant as the transmission itself
adjusts seamlessly to ensure momentum is maintained.
CVT also ensures less power loss, resulting in better
efficiency and acceleration.
For sporty driving, the CVT system
has a manual override. Operated via the central gear
stick, six set ratios can be accessed manually by
nudging the lever forward or back, motorcycle style.
Hands-free with Bluetooth -
Every Qashqai with a factory fitted audio system has
standard Bluetooth integration for hands-free use of a
mobile. A microphone is installed near the interior
rear view mirror to improve voice quality while
incoming calls are automatically heard over the car’s
sound system, which mutes the audio source for the
duration of the call.
Incoming caller ID is displayed on
the audio read-out and the system has an internal
phone book which can store up to 40 numbers. Once set
up, a mobile phone can stay in a pocket or handbag and
its presence will be automatically discovered once the
car’s ignition is turned on, boosting convenience
Navigation display -
The top communications package incorporates satellite
navigation. The system, first seen in the Pathfinder
SUV, provides map coverage of 26 countries across
Europe, including Poland, Slovenia, the Canary
Islands, Croatia and Hungary.
The fixed seven-inch display
benefits from improved graphics, with split guidance
displays showing both maps and overhead views of
junctions. The system also has voice recognition in a
total of seven languages.
When sat nav is specified, the
package comes complete with a colour rear
parking camera. The display includes static
guidelines allowing precise parking every time. The
six disc CD player will also play MP3 discs.
Sunderland gets a potential 400,000
total production for 2007.
Safety - Active safety
equipment includes anti-lock brakes (ABS) with brake
assist (BAS) and electronic brakeforce distribution
(EBD) while electronic stability programme (ESP) and
(depending on versions) All-Mode 4x4 adjust traction
in tricky conditions.
Passive safety equipment starts
with six airbags standard on all models. As well as
dual stage driver and front passenger airbags, there
are thorax side airbags mounted in the front seats and
full-length curtain airbags on both sides giving extra
protection for all occupants in a side impact.
Options - Principal
options include the Intelligent Key, electric folding
mirrors, leather upholstery, Xenon headlamps, cruise
control, 6CD changer, ESP, navigation and reversing
Production - When
Qashqai production starts in Sunderland this December,
Qashqai will become the third new model in 16 months
to be manufactured at NMUK.
Nissan and the UK Government signed
an agreement to build the plant in 1984, and by 1999
it was acknowledged as Britain’s biggest car plant
– a position it has held every year since.
In 1986, the first car for
commercial sale – a Nissan Bluebird – rolled off
the production line.
Exports began in 1988 with around
one in every four cars produced destined for overseas.
In 1990, exports accounted for 85 per cent of total
production. Today around 250,000 of the 315,000 cars
built annually – nearly eight out of every ten –
In 1990, the Bluebird was replaced
by the original Primera and in 1992 the milestone
half-millionth car was built. At the same time the
plant in Sunderland opened a second production line,
for the then current Micra.
By 1995, Sunderland had built one
million cars and one million engines while five years
later a third model, Almera, was added.
In 2003, the year in which
Sunderland built a record 331,924 vehicles, NMUK was
identified as the most productive plant in
Europe for the seventh successive
year. Last year, a total of 315,297 vehicles
were built by a force of approximately 4,400 workers.
During the year, the four millionth car rolled off the
lines and... the three millionth for export.
Representing a total investment to
date of more than €3 billion, NMUK has been the UK’s
biggest car exporter for six years and accounts for 20
per cent of the country’s total car production.
It is estimated that Nissan’s decision to locate in
Sunderland generated more than 20,000 jobs
in the UK’s North East regions in the vehicle
manufacturing, component supply and service
Qashqai’s introduction will
complete one of the busiest periods in the plant’s
history, giving Sunderland the potential to produce a
total of 400,000 cars in 2007.