We concluded the new 2021 Nissan Rogue is better in every way than its predecessor, which bodes well for its smaller sibling. Known as the Qashqai globally, the Rogue Sport is preparing to return for a second generation, and cross-referencing the images of fully camouflaged prototypes released by Nissan with the changes recently made to the bigger Rogue gives us an accurate idea of what to expect from the popular crossover when it lands.
Built on a new modular platform shared with the aforementioned Rogue, the Rogue Sport remains largely a European product. It was designed in Nissan’s studio in central London, and it was engineered at the Nissan Technical Centre Europe which, as the British spelling for center indicates, is also located in the United Kingdom. It’s lighter than the outgoing model thanks to a number of weight-saving measures like doors, fenders, and a hood made with aluminum and a rear hatch manufactured using a composite material. It’s 41% stiffer, too.
It doesn’t look like the Rogue Sport’s overall proportions have drastically evolved — stylists have seemingly resisted the urge to plow it into pseudo-coupe territory — but peeking through the psychedelic camouflage suggests it gains a more distinctive-looking front end that borrows styling cues from the full-size Rogue. Its front fascia will likely wear a sizable grille flanked by low-mounted headlights and thin LED daytime running lights. Out back, the horizontal lights remain, but they look sleeker and more contoured than the ones worn by the current model.
Nissan is keeping full technical specifications under wraps, though it said motorists in Europe will be asked to choose between a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine equipped with mild hybrid technology and a regular hybrid system called e-Power. Gasoline-electric technology could find its way to the Rogue Sport in the United States, too.
Front-wheel drive will come standard, and all-wheel drive will be offered at an extra cost. Front-wheel drive models will reach buyers with a torsion beam rear axle, while the all-wheel drive system will be accompanied by a more sophisticated multi-link configuration. Interestingly, ordering front-wheel drive and the optional 20-inch alloy wheels unlocks the latter suspension. Keep in mind these specifications apply to the European market, however.
ProPilot, a suite of electronic driving aids, will be offered at an extra cost on some trim levels. It accelerates, brakes, and keeps the crossover in its lane when the right conditions are met, and it can bring it to a complete stop if needed. It’s also able to recognize speed limits, and it knows to slow down for curves and off-ramps.
Nissan will unveil the third-generation Qashqai in the coming weeks, meaning the second-generation Rogue Sport is right around the corner. We expect the crossover will reach showrooms in early 2021 as a 2022 model.