It’s certainly been a happy new year for Nissan and its all-new Qashqai crossover.
Fresh from scooping the highly prestigious What Car? of the year award last week, there has been some extremely positive reviews following the Qashqai’s European launch in Madrid.
But as our own Peter Burgess commented in his first drive report for MSN Cars, the new Qashqai doesn’t need glowing reviews for it to sell like the proverbial hot puddings. With two million global sales and counting, Nissan would have had to have done something monumentally disastrous for the new Qashqai not to succeed.
As it happens, Nissan has played a blinder. Not only is the new Qashqai better than ever, the major improvements relate to the areas that really matter. But it’s still not an exciting car…
However, all that is about to change, with PetrolBlog reporting that a 300hp Nissan Qashqai Nismo is looming on the horizon.
Having spoken to Ponz Pandikuthira – Nissan’s general manager and chief marketing manager for crossovers and C-segment products – PetrolBlog understands the Nissan Qashqai Nismo will be all-wheel drive, with in excess of 300hp.
This – according to Pandikuthira – is “to ensure that if offers serious performance and not just a tuner ‘appearance’ package”. So whilst previous reports suggested the hot Qashqai would use the 1.6-litre engine from the Juke Nismo RS, Nissan has its sights set on something altogether more hardcore.
Think along the lines of the lunacy and brilliance of the Nissan Juke R, and you won’t be a million miles away from the vision for the Qashqai Nismo.
That said, unlike the Juke R, you won’t need pockets the size of Roman Abramovich to afford a Qashqai Nismo. To keep it competitive, the 300hp Qashqai would cost between £35,000 and £40,000.
There would be no shortage of interest in a Nissan Qashqai Nismo. It’s consistently a top seller in the UK, enjoying similar success across Europe. A halo product would do very nicely indeed and help it to appeal to a new audience.
An Audi-rivalling, British-designed and British-built 300hp all-wheel drive crossover. Oh yes. Oh yes indeed.