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March 30, 2021

Global Nissan X-Trail to Get a 250-Horsepower Turbocharged Engine

It’s been almost a year since the all-new Nissan X-Trail debuted for the North American market as the Rogue. Now, global markets will finally see how Nissan’s compact SUV shapes up with a worldwide debut set for the Auto Shanghai in April.

Nissan says the latest iteration of Nissan’s compact SUV “represents one of the most comprehensive model re-designs in their history.” The announcement comes after the X-Trail has reached an important milestone: 6.260 million units sold in 20 years.

On the surface, the all-new X-Trail is expected to look the same, save for some minor styling changes. But what it lacks in visual differentiation, the X-Trail will reportedly receive two turbocharged engines.

To recall, the Rogue was launched with just one engine: a normally-aspirated 2.5-liter 4-cylinder making 181 horsepower and 254 Nm of torque mated to a CVT. While not exactly slow, some would-be SUV buyers want more power, and that’s one wish that Nissan’s supposedly granting.

Spotted ahead of its global debut, spy photographers caught the X-Trail wearing a “300 VC-Turbo” and “4x4-i” badges. This suggests that the X-Trail will be offered with a 2.0-liter turbocharged unit. Although Nissan hasn’t released any official figures yet, it can theoretically produce 270 horsepower and 390 Nm of torque (although in the North American Altima, it does produce 250 horsepower and 370 Nm of torque).

Separately, sleuths were able to uncover Nissan document filings hinting at a 1.5-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder engine as well. Like its 2.0-liter counterpart, the Japanese carmaker has yet to reveal any official figures, but reportedly, it’ll be making around 204 horsepower and 300 Nm of torque. And while the more powerful 2.0-liter might get stuck with a gearless CVT, this 1.5-liter unit is said to benefit from a new 8-speed automatic gearbox.

Both 1.5- and 2.0-liter engines though share Nissan’s proprietary Variable Compression Turbo or VC-Turbo technology.

Developed for more than 20 years, Nissan’s VC Turbo engine can vary compression ratio. Instead of having the pistons connect to the crankshaft, this engine has a pivot arm with a connection on each end. One end connects to the piston while the other connects to a second lower shaft which is controlled by an actuator arm. At any given time, the engine’s pistons move up and down according to the lobes on the crankshaft. But the actuator arm can change the angle of the pivot arm up and down.

As a result, the displacement of the engine changes and the compression ratio can vary anywhere between 8:1 (perfect for turbocharged applications) and 14:1 (for high efficiency).

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