The Nissan Qashqai has been called boring because it does everything it is supposed to do so well. No-fuss, no bother, just better than most in its class. The Qashqai is credited as the first family crossover, spacious, reliable, comfortable, affordable to buy and to run. So the good kind of boring.
So why oh why did the Brits put a GT-R engine in it?
Could be because they also invented the deep-fried Mars bar, gave the world the Spice Girls. They are clearly mad, and when Nissan added a GT-R engine to the smaller Juke, and Russian dragsters took that and made it even faster, the blokes at Severn Valley Motorsport (SVM) said: “Hold my beer!”
Of course, the Juke has been done, so the logical next step was the next size crossover, the Qashqai. Not logical was deciding the GT-R’s 358kW was not powerful enough. But we will get to that.
It turns out the Qashquai+2 and the GT-R is almost identical in size. So you take the body off the Qashqai and reinforce the whatnot out of it, take the entire GT-R, sans body, and click the two together like lego. Not quite, but you get the idea.
Then they started on the engine. The normal GT-R 358kW engine is a 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V6. This was bored out to 4.1-litres, given forged pistons and suitable rods. Added to that were SVM cylinder heads and bigger turbos with bigger compressor pipes and high flow intake pipes. Motorsport injectors and Veyron fuel pumps completed the power input. It needed a modified clutch and diff brace, and a stainless steel exhaust.
All that power meant more heat, so better cooling was put in. To stop the beast, carbon brakes with braided brake lines were added, while KW coil-over suspension with Eibach anti-roll bars and 20” alloys kept the whole thing on the road.
So now the world has a Nissan Qashqai with 820kW on tap. It will do 0-100km/h in 2.7 seconds, 200km/h in 7.5 seconds and the quarter-mile in 9.9 seconds doing 230km/h. I don’t think anyone has been brave enough to see how fast it would eventually go, but it is said they have gone substantially over 320km/h. This is fast enough for a Qashqai, thank you.
If you were to meet this Qashqai on the school run you would be pressed to notice the difference. The blokes (not okes) at SVM have left it almost stock standard. It was done in 2014, so it is the old shape with the derpy-looking taillights, not the sleeker current Nissan Qashqai shape. There are a few tells though. The wheels are noticeably bigger and the air-scoop contains some ominous red detailing. Even at slow speeds, the exhaust rumble is felt in the chest. On the back of the Nissan, where you would normally see ‘my family’ stick figures, you now simply have a large red R.