Nissan’s iconic SUV, the Pathfinder, will now be available in hybrid form.
This launch happened the same day its competitor from Toyota, the Highlander hybrid, was revealed in 3rd generation guise.
The Pathfinder Hybrid, the first of several upcoming Nissan hybrid models according to Nissan, is scheduled to go on sale at Nissan dealers in late summer.
Featuring a supercharged 2.5-litre gasoline engine, a 15 kilowatt electric motor and Nissan Intelligent Dual Clutch hybrid control system, it will be priced at around $3,000 above the standard 3.5-litre V6 gasoline engine-powered Pathfinder models.
The hybrid system is rated at 250 net horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque – versus the 3.5-liter V6′s 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque.
“Our mindset at Nissan is to lead the way with innovative solutions to the challenges of modern, sustainable mobility,” said Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. Executive Vice President Andy Palmer. “That means creating cleaner, greener vehicles like the Pathfinder Hybrid that serve people on the move, and vehicles like the NV200 Mobility Taxi that offer expanded functionality while keeping a small environmental footprint.”
Palmer also announced that the next generation Nissan Murano, scheduled for the 2015 model year, will be based on the recently introduced Resonance Concept and will include a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain.
The Pathfinder’s new Hybrid powertrain option will be available in three fully equipped trim levels – SV, SL and Platinum.
The hybrid system also uses a Nissan Intelligent Dual Clutch System (one motor / two clutch parallel system) that efficiently manages power from both the electric motor and the gas engine.
Positioned between the gasoline engine and the next-gen Xtronic CVT (where the torque converter would normally be), the motor also functions as a generator, conveying deceleration force from the CVT to the battery. One clutch is installed between the gasoline engine and the electric motor, the other within the CVT.
Fuel economy is estimated by Nissan to be at 26 mpg combined, an increase of 24 percent over the standard Pathfinder. Estimated city fuel economy is 25 mpg, while highway mileage is estimated at 27 mpg. With the Pathfinder Hybrid’s 19.5-gallon fuel tank, the same as non-hybrid models, driving range is estimated at more than 526 miles.
Another key to the system’s non-compromising design efficiency is the use of a space-saving Li-ion battery fitted under the 3rd row seat, preserving Pathfinder’s unique 2nd row sliding functionality and easy access to the 3rd row. A regenerative braking system automatically recharges the battery by converting the vehicle’s kinetic energy that would be otherwise lost in braking.