In an interview with Automotive News, Nissan engineer Nobusuke Toukura said today that the Japanese company may bring to North America a hybrid version of the Rogue crossover set to reach Japanese showrooms (as the X-Trail, as it’s branded there and in other markets) in May 2015.
Under styling near-identical to that of the Rogue available here, the X-Trail Hybrid sports a 2.0L four-cylinder engine and electric motor that, working together, generate about 185 hp—a bonus of about 15 horses compared to the 2.5L four-cylinder that powers Rogues sold in North America.
While it’s still a maybe for our market, the Rogue Hybrid’s launch comes hot on the tail of Toyota’s addition of a RAV4 Hybrid, which goes on sale here later this year as a 2016 model. If Nissan brings the dual-power Rogue here soon, the company would be among the first to get into a new segment that may grow quickly; Mitsubishi plans to bring a plug-in hybrid version of its Outlander here in late 2015 or early 2016, though its cash-strapped manufacturer has has already pushed back that launch date a couple of times.
Currently, Nissan sells three hybrid models here, including two under its upscale Infiniti line. The Pathfinder and QX60 mid-size crossovers are mechanical twins, and the Q50 Hybrid is Infiniti’s 3 Series-fighting sport sedan. Nissan also has the all-electric Leaf.
Nissan builds Rogues destined for North American dealers in Tennessee, but the hybrid version will be built in Japan, and we suspect that would remain the case even if Nissan did add the hybrid to its North American lineup.