IMAGES have been released of the new Nissan Qashqai undergoing testing as it readies for launch in the spring of 2021.
Heavily camouflaged, it is the third generation of Nissan's top-selling crossover which is built in Britain at the company's Sunderland factory.
Prototypes of the new model are currently racking up the testing miles on European roads.
The latest model sits on a new platform and Nissan plans for it to build on the success of the previous versions.
The current Qashqai, which went on-sale in Europe in 2014, has sold over one million units since its introduction.
"The new Qashqai is going to change what customers can expect from a family car. Comfort, refinement and technology will be from higher categories of car, while the driving experience will satisfy drivers and passengers alike. With Nissan's bold e-POWER technology, we feel that customers will fall in love with the feeling of an electric powertrain, without the range concerns,"said Gianluca de Ficchy, chairman of Nissan in Africa, the Middle East, India, Europe and Oceania.
The new construction means the car is significantly lighter than before and it comes with a new steering and suspension set up.
It will come with a choice of two engines - a 1.3-litre mild-hybrid petrol and a version driven by Nissan's e-POWER system which drives the car by electricity generated from a combustion engine.
The 1.3-litre petrol engine has been updated to include a 12-volt mild-hybrid system which incorporates a separate lithium battery installation mounted under the floor and belt driven generator to harvest braking energy.
The set up allows the engine's systems to run on harvested energy, extending the duration of the stop/start function which reduces the engine's overall CO2emissions. Additionally, it also enables coasting and offers additional torque under acceleration.
Nissan says the new Qashqai will be equipped with the next generation of its ProPILOT driver assistance.
Called ProPILOT with Navi-link, the system has been designed to reduce fatigue and stress while driving, while being intuitive to use.
ProPILOT with Navi-link is able to accelerate and brake the vehicle within a single-lane on a road. The system can accelerate the vehicle to cruise at a set speed, and can brake the vehicle down to zero in heavy stop-start traffic. The system is able to resume automatically if the vehicle has been stationary for less than three seconds and the traffic in front of the car moves away.
The system can also use data from the navigation system to adjust the speed for approaching curves or exit ramps that have a tighter radius and iIt can now communicate with the Qashqai's blind-spot radars to help intervene withasteering input correction to help prevent a lane-change manoeuvre if there is a vehicle in the blind-spot zone.
Other upgrades include a "flank protection" warning for urban situations, which alerts the driver of the risk of contact with an object on the side of the vehicle, typically when turning into a supermarket parking space.
ProPILOT with Navi-link will be available from the mid-level N-Connecta grade.
Since it was first introduced in 2007 the Qashqai has become a trailblazer for Nissan and can be credited with starting the boom in crossover models.
Despite the arrival of many competitors, the first generationQashqaisold in excess of 200,000 units per year on average throughout its life.
The second generationQashqaiwent on sale in Europe in 2014, with a more striking design and more efficient engines, more refinement and more convenient technology.
The second generationQashqaibroke a UK record, being the fastest UK-produced vehicle to reach the landmark of 500,000 units produced.
To date, more than three million Qashqais have been sold in Europe and over five million globally. The current model is priced from around £20,000.