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Nissan Terra breaks cover in Beijing

The new Nissan Terra, a body-on-frame SUV designed around the Navara ute is currently being built in China. You’d expect that a RHD Australian market model would be a matter of course, but that’s not the case.

Ashwani Gupta, senior vice president of Nissan’s Light Commercial Vehicle Business said that there is a current study to assess this five-seater’s suitability for Australia and New Zealand.

Why on earth would such a study be necessary? The potential for a body-on-frame 4WD wagon in Australasia is well understood and the segment has several competitors: Everest, Cherokee, Fortuner, Pajero Sports, MU-X, Trailblazer, Prado and Pajero.

However, all these wagons have diesel power and the Terra has been launched with a QR25 four-cylinder, 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, with outputs of 135kW (180hp) at 6000rpm and 251Nm at 4000rpm.

That engine won’t suit the Australian medium-4WD-wagon scene at all.

Nissan Australia would be arguing for the existing Navara diesel engine as the powerplant for the Terra, but if that’s not in the shopping cart the choice could fall on the QR25DER hybrid derivative that already powers the Pathfinder Hybrid in Australia.

This engine has a supercharger for increased power and is coupled to a 15kW electric motor and lithium-ion battery for increased fuel efficiency. The engine has a compression ratio of 9.1:1 and produces a combined petrol-electric output of 190kW (250hp) at 5600rpm, with 329Nm at 3600rpm.


New VW Touareg previewed

The new Touareg is wider and longer than its predecessor and has much more luggage space, up from 697 litres to 810.However, VW claims 106kg weight reduction for the new model, thanks to bodywork formed from half aluminum and half high-strength steel.

Electronic driver aids include roadwork lane assist, cross traffic warning, roll stabilisation and Audi-style LED Matrix headlights.

Porsche-style active all-wheel steering has also been incorporated.

The Tesla-sized infotainment screen on the new Touareg measures 38cm (15 inches) across.

The display vehicle was a plug-in hybrid, but other drivelines - petrol and diesel - will be available.