Nissan VW Golf rival on the road

12 Dec, 2013 5:17pm Luke Madden

Latest details on new VW Golf rival from Nissan, as our spies catch the car in testing

Nissan is concentrating on development of its new VW Golf rival, as the latest Qashqai has finally been revealed - and it's due to arrive in autumn next year. Our spies have caught engineers putting the car through its paces, revealing a bit more of the styling – and our exclusive image peels back the disguise to show you the bold design Nissan has planned.

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The sharp headlights sweep up the bonnet edges, while also interlocking with the wide honeycomb mesh grille. Sitting in the centre is a large Nissan badge surrounded by the latest version of the chromed ‘V’ seen on the Qashqai. The heavy rear disguise doesn’t give too much away, but the steeply raked rear screen helps create a sporty profile.

Nissan still hasn’t revealed what the new hatch will be called, although product planning boss Andy Palmer has told us “it’ll evoke something from the past”.

What we do know is that the car will get engines from the Qashqai, including a 1.2-litre turbo offering around 110bhp, plus a diesel rival to the Golf BlueMotion. A company car tax-friendly low-CO2 model is crucial, as Palmer confirmed when he said: “Fleet buyers make up such a significant percentage of this market in Europe.”

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At the other end of the line-up, Nissan is working on a Nismo version to bolster its performance car range, which is already set to grow with a Qasqhai Nismo to join the GT-R, Juke and 370Z models. Palmer said: “We’re looking to produce the best handling cars in their class, but handling with security that will flatter drivers and with a degree of comfort, too.”

Nissan’s line-up of innovative tech, such as the camera-based Safety Shield from the Note, is likely to be offered in the new car. It uses a rear-facing, wide-angle camera to provide lane departure warning and blind spot detection.

Expect the car to debut next autumn, from around £16,000.

Interior will score on quality

These latest spy shots also gave us a glimpse inside the new Golf rival, and the chrome and gloss black materials used show that Nissan is keen to close the gap to VW in terms of quality.

The starter button hints at some hi-tech options like keyless go, and the colour touchscreen in the centre console shows that the Nissan Connect 2 infotainment system will be offered. That’ll bring functionality for sat-nav, Bluetooth audio connectivity and Google Send to Car, which allows drivers to plan a route on a home computer and send it to the car’s sat-nav.