With EV sales not meeting expectations, Nissan has turned towards more universally-appealing hybrid technology, but with a twist. Debuting on the all-new 2014 Nissan Pathfinder is a supercharged 2.5 liter engine hooked to hybrid drivetrain providing some mighty impressive MPG numbers.
Sure, Nissan has sold over 50,000 (and counting) Leaf EVs worldwide, but the company has also invested at least a billon dollars into electric cars thus far, and the payoff is still a long time coming. Enter the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder, which debuts the new supercharged hybrid drivetrain, one that has been in the works since at least 2011.
The supercharged 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine is paired with a 15 kw electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. Total power output is on the order of 250 horsepower and 243 ft-lbs of torque, nearly as much as the 260 horsepower standard V6. That should give buyers something to think about.
The result is a 25 city and 27 highway mpg rating, netting the big 5-passenger SUV an impressive 26 mpg rating. The city rating is especially impressive for a vehicle this large, and Nissan expects the Pathfinder Hybrid to carry a $3,000 premium over the standard, V6-equipped model. It’ll take a few years to make up the cost difference, as the standard Pathfinder is rated at 20/26/22, but if you do a lot of city driving, the hybrid model is definitely the way to go.
Is this a sign that Nissan is giving up on EVs in pursuit of hybrids? Will other automakers follow this forced induction/hybrid…hybrid? There are definitely interesting days ahead for Nissan.