A report in the Japanese business daily Nikkei, picked up by Automotive News, said Mitsubishi anticipates using a Nissan engine in the next-generation Outlander headed our way later this year. If the report comes true, the engine swap would be a first for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance partners outside of Japanese kei cars. Mitsubishi engineers will have an easier time slotting in a Nissan engine as the next-gen Outlander gives up its GS platform — an architecture Mitsubishi co-developed with Daimler Chrysler almost 20 years ago — to move to a modified version of the CMF platform that supports the Nissan Rogue and Qashqai, our Rogue Sport.
Last December, Auto Express spoke to Ponz Pandikuthira, Nissan's European vice president of product planning. The exec said Nissan had two hybrid powertrains under consideration for the next-generation Qashqai, the first being Nissan's serial hybrid ePower system that's fared well in Japan where overall speeds are low, but that might not be suited to Europe's higher average speeds. As for a PHEV, Pandikuthira said, "We're not pursuing a big plug-in hybrid strategy. On some car lines we'll try it out, but the business case for plug-in hybrids is not very good."