We know Nissan's on the cusp of introducing a new Rogue, having seen polished prototypes in October and December last year. Autocar says the Japanese automaker is preparing to launch the new crossover, which is Europe's X-Trail, this summer ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show. For Frankfurt, the magazine says Europe's Qashqai, our Rogue Sport, will debut. The Rogue Sport is especially important to Nissan Europe, seeing as it's Nissan's most popular vehicle across the Atlantic. The second generation is six years old this year, its age and Nissan's general malaise causing the Qashqai to lose ground to rivals. It sounds like the only thing that will carry over to the third-generation Qashqai is the platform, engineers updating the CMF-C/D architecture that debuted with the second-gen.
Outside, design traits will draw from the recently introduced Juke as well as last year's IMQ electric concept, but those could be laid into a more emphatic design language that begins to restore a measure of Japanese-ness to the automaker's offerings. The interior should slot in as a junior-sized version of the interiors we've seen in those Rogue prototypes. That would mean rearranging the center console with a discrete screen atop the stack, and familiar buttons and knobs for climate control beneath. The coming Rogue picks up a two-piece shifter, the new Juke's shifter was designed to merely look like two pieces, depending on trim and engine. The Qashqai could go either way.
The big deal in Europe is Nissan's rumored move away from diesels, potentially opting for two electric options alongside mild-hybrid ICE choices — the brand's in-house ePower serial hybrid system, and the plug-in hybrid powertrain used in Alliance partner Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV. The ePower fits a gas engine to keep a battery charged, the battery providing energy to electric motors. Europe's powertrain mix is undoubtedly influenced by the new emissions scheme that took effect this year. The schedule of fines for not meeting targets is onerous enough to cause many automakers to rethink how much product they'll allow to be sold there this year.
American buyers will be far more interested to know when the new Rogue Sport will make it here, seeing our model was just refreshed early last year, and whether we'll finally get access to the 1.3-liter turbo four-cylinder that comes in two outputs in Europe, and the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Autocar said new Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida is dedicated to "implementing a product plan with renewed vigor," and dedicated to "ensuring the manufacturer's global best-sellers are brought up to the class standard in good time." We'll be able to put proof to that — or not — come this summer at the Rogue debut.