Nissan's mystery vehicle for PH has a 150 kW electric and a gas-powered engine
It looks like Nissan is already making preparations to launch yet another electrified vehicle this year. We already have the Kicks e-Power since 2022 (launched as a 2023 model year) and it currently serves as the only e-Power on offer in the country.
However, according to Nissan ASEAN boss Isao Sekiguchi, 2024 will be busy for Nissan Philippines. This can only mean that the automaker is set to launch multiple new (or perhaps facelifted) models soon. And since we're already at the start of 2024, we may have just found out what will be Nissan's first of many launches for the Philippines this year.
Nissan was able to receive regulatory approval for a new vehicle that comes with an electric motor that generates 150 kW which translates to 203 PS. In addition, it also comes with a gas engine although no specifics were mentioned. After checking what Nissan sells with a 203 PS electric motor along with a gas engine, it seems the X-Trail e-Power may be on its way here soon.
Already available in markets like China, Japan, and the US, the fourth-generation X-Trail gets a brand new look that sees the crossover get a sporty makeover. More importantly, it gets a 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine that makes over 200 PS and 305 Nm of torque. What's more, is that it benefits from the brand's variable compression (VC-Turbo) technology that automatically adjusts the engine's compression ratio on the fly depending on driver input.
However, China and Japan also offer the Nissan X-Trail e-Power. Just like the Kicks e-Power, this electrified crossover has an internal combustion engine that serves purely as a generator to charge the electric motor's battery pack. And speaking of electric motor, the X-Trail e-Power's electric motor cranks out 150 kW (or 203 PS) and 320 Nm of torque.
Side-by-side with Nissan PH's regulatory approval for a new vehicle and the specs of the X-Trail e-Power in other markets, it looks like the mystery vehicle could be the aforementioned crossover.
With both China and Japan selling the X-Trail e-Power, we're wondering if Nissan Philippines will source it from the People's Republic or The Land of The Rising Sun. While previous generations of the X-Trail always came from Japan, Nissan recently announced that they want to export EVs and other cars from China for global markets.
What's more important is that given that the X-Trail uses a very similar electrified drive system in the Kicks, it will likely be classified as a "BEV" given that Nissan was already able to have the Kicks e-Power declared and classified as such. The reason for that is that the electric motors are the only devices directly driving the wheels, while the engine is only a generator to charge the battery and cannot provide rotational force to the wheels.
Could the automaker take advantage of the China-ASEAN Free Trade for 1.5L engined vehicles as well as the BEV loophole to make their cars more competitively priced against other manufacturers? On that, we will be keeping our eyes and ears open for more.