Nissan has had hybrids– namely the Altima Hybrid– in the past, but as green cars go, is mostly known for the Nissan LEAF EV and its high-efficiency gasoline-only models like the 40 MPG Sentra. Now the brand is going to give hybrids another shot with the Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid.
According to the press release from Nissan, the Pathfinder Hybrid will feature a 2.5-liter supercharged (!) gasoline engine and a 15 kW electric motor drawing energy from a Lithium-Ion battery pack. The automaker says this powertrain combo will make nearly the same power as the standard Pathfinder’s 3.5-liter V6 engine– the Hybrid’s 250 horsepower and 243 ft-lbs of torque compare favorably with the V6 Pathfinder’s 260 horsepower and 240 ft-lbs.
A cool piece of tech Nissan says is integral to the system is its Intelligent Dual Clutch System. Quoting the release:
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.
The Pathfinder Hybrid is estimated to return city/highway/combined EPA fuel efficiency scores of 25/27/26 MPG, according to Nissan. That would make it about 4 MPG better than the standard V6-equipped two-wheel drive Pathfinder, which gets an EPA combined rating of 22 MPG.
Technology-wise, the Pathfinder Hybrid gets Nissan’s Advanced Drive Assist display in the gauge cluster, a 4.2-inch color customizable screen, available navigation with NavTraffic, Nissan’s much-ballyhooed AroundView Monitor parking system, three-zone climate control, and much more.
Nissan says this will be “the most fuel-efficient Pathfinder ever.” While Pathfinder purists may be turned off by the Pathy’s move from body-on-frame construction to unibody, car-like structure for the 2013 model year, the move lightened the vehicle while retaining all of the function most Pathfinder owners desire. It will be interesting to see how this Hybrid does in the marketplace, after the Altima Hybrid has been out of production a few years. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll get to test one out.