The Nissan Qashqai finally makes it to the U.S.

The second-generation Nissan Rogue was introduced in 2013, and much like its predecessor, it’s a version of the X-Trail specifically revised for the North American market. Upgraded inside and out for the 2017 model year, the Rogue also gained a little brother for the 2018 model year. Dubbed Rogue Sport, this new crossover is actually the second-generation Qashqai, that Nissan launched in Europe for the 2014 model year.

In case you’re wondering, Nissan decided to the rename it the Rogue Sport as the company found that Americans would have trouble pronouncing the Qashqai name. In Canada, however, the Qashqai will retain its original name, which comes from the Qashqai people living in mountainous Southwestern Iran.

Aside from the name and minor revisions on the outside (due to homologation reasons), the Rogue Sport is identical to its European counterparts as far as design goes. Slotted between the Juke and the Rogue, the Rogue Sport is supposed to appeal to "singles or couples without kids who want a sportier vehicle and can live with a little less cargo capacity than the current Rogue offers."

The crossover gets its juice from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder connected to the company’s Xtronic CVT. This is the biggest engine available in the Euro-spec Qashqai, but not the most powerful, which is the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-pot. The crossover will be available in three trim levels: S, SV, and SL.

Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Rogue Sport.

Exterior

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Exterior
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Not surprisingly, the Rogue Sport is identical to its European sibling as far as styling goes. The second-generation Qashqai received a sharper and more muscular styling for the 2015 model year and came to the U.S. with the exact same design features. The Qashqai is already familiar to crossover enthusiasts, but what matters here most is that its design is pretty much in line with company’s North American range. Specifically, the nose is highlighted by the same "V-motion" grille seen on just about any U.S.-spec Nissan, while the angular headlamps and sporty bumper design give it a unique look.

The profile is rather sporty for a crossover this size, especially due to the swoopy side skirt character line that ascends toward the rear wheel arches, the muscular rear haunches, and the coupe-style roof line. The rear fascia is rather simple and straight forward, but the large taillights and trapezoidal license plate recess give it that solid, imposing look you’d expect from a larger SUV.

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Exterior
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Not surprisingly, the Rogue Sport is identical to its European sibling as far as styling goes.

The Rogue Sport goes on sale with ten available exterior colors. Standard hues include Glacier White, Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, Mocha Almond, Palatial Ruby, Nitro Lime, Caspian Blue, and Magnetic Black. If you’re willing to pay extra for the paint you can choose between Pearl White and Monarch Orange.

Compared to the Rogue, the Rogue Sport isn’t that much smaller. Although 12.1 inches shorter overall, the wheelbase is only 2.3 inches shorter, which means a similar footprint and plenty of room inside. Also 5.6 inches shorter from the roof the ground, the Rogue Sport is just as wide as its larger sibling, giving it a sportier stance.

COMPETING DESIGNS

2017 Kia Sportage High Resolution Exterior
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2016 - 2017 Hyundai Tucson
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2017 Kia Sportage
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2016 - 2017 Hyundai Tucson
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Already in its fourth-generation as of 2015, the current Kia Sportage (left) boasts a rather unusual design with a tall front fascia and the bumper and main grille integrated into the same element. The aggressively sweptback headlamps and the small and lower than usual side windows give it a sporty look that many other crossovers in this segment can’t offer. The Sportage is a bit more conventional around back, where the horizontal styling cues are in contrast with the front end design. Although it’s by no means a beauty contest winner, the Kia Sportage is a good choice if you’re looking for a crossover that stands out. You should also take into account the fact that the Sportage is 4.4 inches longer and 2.1 inches wider than the Rogue Sport.

The Kia Sportage is a good choice if you're looking for a crossover that stands out.

Moving over to the Hyundai Tucson (right), it’s basically a redesigned Kia Sportage, as the two Korean-made crossovers share the same platform and most underpinnings. The Tucson comes with a more conventional metal sheet, but that’s not to say it’s a less exciting option. Hyundai’s current design language is quite appealing and the large hexagonal front grille and the slim headlamps give it a sporty stance. Around back, the Tucson is actually very similar to the Sportage, showcasing large taillights, a small, raked window, and a license plate recess integrated into the tailgate and a slim bumper for better access to the trunk. About the same size as the Sportage, the Tucson is also slightly longer and wider than the Rogue Sport.

Kia Sportage Hyundai Tucson Nissan Rogue Sport
Wheelbase (Inches) 105.1 105.1 104.2
Length (Inches) 176.4 176.2 172.4
Width (Inches) 73.0 72.8 72.3
Height (Inches) 64.4 64.8 62.5

Interior

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Interior
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The interior is also identical to the Euro-spec Qashqai, but this isn’t a bad thing, as the cabin is still fresh in terms of design and comes with plenty of standard features. However, Nissan did change a few things to make crossover a bit more appealing to U.S. customers. The most noticeable new feature is the sporty steering that can be had in the more expensive models. This one has a separate center section (the one seen on the Qashqai is integrated into the lower spoke), redesigned spokes with more buttons, and a flat bottom. The model shown here also had blacked-out A/C vents and center console trim and a nice two-tone dashboard and door panels. Of course, there are many upholstery colors to choose to from, but this one is particularly exciting to look at.

The premium interior accents and heated front seats are obviously optional, as is the NissanConnect with Navigation. The latter includes Online Search with Google, Valet Alert, SiriusXM Traffic, and voice command. The Advanced Drive-Assist display in the instrument cluster enables you to see navigation directions, manage phone calls, and change the driving mode without taking your eyes off the road.

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Interior
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2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Interior
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Nissan change a few things to make crossover more appealing to U.S. customers.

The Rogue Sport can also be equipped with Nissan’s Intelligent Cruise Control, which helps maintain the distance between your car and the vehicle in front in you. The system also enables the crossover to respond accordingly as traffic slows down or speeds up. There’s also Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection. This feature uses four cameras to give you a virtual, 360-degree view of your vehicle with split-screen close-ups and audible alerts for moving objects near the car.

Other driving-assist features include Intelligent Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and High Beam Assist.

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Interior
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2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Interior
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The Rogue Sport is obviously not as roomy as the larger Rogue, but the differences aren't that big given the similar wheelbase.

The Advanced Drive-Assist display, the D-shaped steering wheel, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth streaming audio, and RearView Monitor are standard on base models. The SV trim adds Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, dual-zone climate control, and six-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar. Opt for the range-topping SL and Nissan throws in NissanConnect with Navigation, Around Vew Monitor with Moving Object Detection, and leather-appointed seats.

As far as dimensions go, the Rogue Sport is obviously not as roomy as the larger Rogue, but the differences aren’t that big given the similar wheelbase. For instance, headroom for front passengers drops from 41.6 to 39.6 inches, but rear headroom is about the same at 38.3 inches (versus 38.5). Legroom decreases by 0.2 and 4.5 inches in the front and second-row, respectively, while hip room drops by 0.6 and 5.2 inches. When it comes to shoulder room, it’s identical for front row passengers and decreases by only 0.2 inches in the rear.

Cargo room sees more significant decreases, which makes sense given the reduced length compared to the Rogue. Specifically, the Rogue Sport can swallow up to 22.9 cubic feet of luggage with the second-row seats upright and up to 61.1 cubic feet with the second-row folded. That’s a reduction of 9.1 and 8.9 cubic feet compared to the larger Rogue model, respectively.

THE COMPETITION

2017 Kia Sportage
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2016 - 2017 Hyundai Tucson High Resolution Interior
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Redesigned for the 2017, the Kia Sportage’s interior (left) is more up-market, quieter, and provides a more refined ride. Highlighted by horizontal lines, large air vents, and subtle chrome detailing, Kia’s cabin is by far fancier than Nissan’s. The tall center stack and wider center console gives the interior a large SUV-like look, so customers who can’t afford a larger crossover won’t be frustrated by a car-like configuration. Standard equipment includes a seven-inch touchscreen with Connected Services, satellite navigation, TomTom traffic updates, and a 160-watt, six-speaker stereo system. Off the options list you can get a larger, eight-inch display, a JBL sound system, wireless charging, heated steering wheel and dual-zone climate control. For enhanced comfort you can select front seats with 10-way power control, ventilation, three-way heating, and even seat heating for rear passengers. As far as passenger space goes, the Sportage offers a bit more headroom, legroom, shoulder room, and hip room, especially in the rear seats.

2017 Kia Sportage
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2016 - 2017 Hyundai Tucson
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The Sportage's interior is more up-market, quieter, and provides a more refined ride.

Unlike the Sportage and Rogue Sport, the Tucson (right) is a more organic proposition on the inside. The dashboard has a two-tier design, a wide, V-shaped center stack, and a wrap-around layout that blends almost seamlessly with the door panels. The base model comes with standard power door locks, cloth seats, 60/40 split and fold-down rear seat backs, rear center armrest, titl and telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth, six-speaker audio system, and a five-inch touchscreen. Higher trim levels also come with eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats, leather steering wheel, and heated rear seats. However, the eight-inch touchscreen navigation and the 4.2-inch instrument cluster display are only available with the range-topping Limited model. Similar to the Sportage, the Tucson is a bit roomier than that Rogue Sport in just about any department, but not by much.

As far as trunk capacity goes, the Hyundai Tucson can take the most luggage with the rear seats up at 31 cubic feet. The Kia Sportage follows with 30.7, while the Nissan Rogue Sport is good for only 22.9 cubic feet. With the rear seats folded flat, the Tucson wins with 61.9 cubic feet, followed by the Rogue Sport with 61.1. The Sportage comes in last with 60 cubic feet.

Kia Sportage Hyundai Tucson Nissan Rogue Sport
Head room, front/rear (Inches) 39.3/39.1 39.6/39.2 39.6/38.3
Leg room, front/rear (Inches) 41.5/38.2 41.5/38.2 42.8/33.4
Shoulder room, front/rear (Inches) 57.1/55.1 57.1/55.1 56.6/55.7
Hip room, front/rear (Inches) 54.3/51.2 55.6/54.5 53.4/46.9
Cargo volume seats up/folded (Cu. ft.) 30.7/60.01 31.0/61.9 22.9/61.1
Total interior volume (Cu. ft.) 129.3 133.2 TBA

Drivetrain

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Motivation for the Rogue Sport comes from the largest engine available in the Qashqai as of 2017, namely the 2.0-liter four-cylinder codenamed MR20DE. The gasoline unit cranks out 141 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. Although not as powerful as the turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-pot offered in Europe (161 horsepower and 177 pound-feet), it delivers significantly more than the base 1.2-liter offered in other markets. Performance and fuel economy specs for the 2.0-liter aren’t yet available for the U.S., but expect the Rogue Sport to hit 60 mph in a little more than 10 seconds.

The Qashqai is also available with two diesel engines in Europe, but don’t expect any of them to be offered in the United States anytime soon.

Motivation for the Rogue Sport comes from the largest engine available in the Qashqai as of 2017.

The transmission is Nissan’s Xtronic CVT, which should be familiar to American buyers from other models sold here. The Rogue Sport comes with front-wheel drive standard, but the company’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system is optional.

The crossover also comes with Active Ride Control, which automatically applies brakes and adjusts engine torque when you hit a bump for a smoother ride, and Active Engine Braking, which uses the transmission to apply engine braking for smoother deceleration.

COMPETING PERFORMANCE

While the Rogue Sport is available with just one engine as of 2017, the Kia Sportage comes with two options. The base engine is a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter rated at 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet, while the range-topping model uses a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-pot that makes a solid 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of twist. Both FWD and AWD versions are offered, paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy ratings are listed at 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway for the 2.4-liter version and 21 mpg city and 26 mpg highway for the turbocharged model.

2017 Kia Sportage
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Note: Kia Sportage engine pictured here

The Nissan Rouge Sport is the least powerful offering of the three.

The Hyundai Tucson is also available with two engines, but both are smaller than Kia’s. The naturally aspirated four-cylinder displaces 2.0 liters and cranks out 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet, while the turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-banger generates 175 horses and 195 pound-feet of twist. Unlike its competitors, Hyundai offers a six-speed automatic for the base model and a seven-speed dual-clutch on everything else. As for mileage, the all-motor version returns up to 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway, while the turbo model delivers up to 26 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.

As you may have already noticed, the Nissan Rouge Sport is the least powerful offering of the three and the Kia Sportage is the only one that gets a 200+ horsepower drivetrain.

Kia Sportage 2.4 Kia Sportage 2.0 Hyundai Tucson Hyundai Tucson Nissan Rogue Sport
Engine 2.4-liter GDI 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI 2.0-liter Inline 4-cylinder 1.6-liter Inline 4-cylinder 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder
Horsepower 181 HP @ 6,000 RPM 240 HP @ 6,000 RPM 164 HP @ 6,200 RPM 175 HP @ 5,500 RPM 141 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 175 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM 260 LB-FT @ 1,450-3,500 RPM 151 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM 195 LB-FT @ 1,500-4,500 RPM 147 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM
Curb weight 3,305 Lbs 3,666 Lbs 4,652 Lbs 4,652 Lbs TBA
Towing 2,000 Lbs 2,000 Lbs 1,500 Lbs 1,500 Lbs TBA
Fuel economy city/highway/combined 22/29/25 21/26/23 23/31/26 26/33/29 TBA

What Other Are Saying

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Since the Rogue Sport is brand-new to the U.S., we will have a look at what other outlets have to say about the Euro-spec Qashqai

TOP GEAR

The famous British website gave the Qashqai an eight out of ten overall verdict, praising its roomier passenger compartment, improvement refinement, and efficient engines. On the flip side, the outlet criticized the sluggish entry-level models (which you won’t find in the U.S.). All told, Top Gear thinks that the current Qashqai is "well made, more refined and nice to live with."

WHATCAR?

WhatCar gave the Qashqai four out of five stars, describing it as a "superb small SUV that is a pleasure to live with" and said it makes "a terrific family car." Strong points include the classy and thoughtfully designed interior, quiet cabin, and efficient engines. However, WhatCar? things that some versions are pricey and that the ride can be a bit rough with 19-inch wheels. The outlet also noted that the Qashqai is affordable to run (despite not being cheap to buy) and that higher trim levels come with high-tech features.

CARBUYER

The Brits over at Carbuyer gave the Qashqai a 4.2 rating from a maximum of five starts. The "pros" list includes "very practical, comfortable ride, and versatile family car, while the "cons" side of the review include "concerns over reliability, tight rear legroom, and poor rear visibility." Overall, Carbuyer seemed happy with the Qashqai, describing it as a "practical SUV with the running costs of a hatchback, making it an ideal choice for families."

Prices

Pricing for the Rogue Sport is not yet available, but given that it will slot between the Juke and Rogue, expect it to be priced accordingly. With the Juke priced from $20,250 and the Rogue coming in at $23,820, the Rogue Sport could retail from around $21,500 before options.

COMPETING PRICES

Both the Kia Sportage and the Hyundai Tucson are a bit more expensive than what the Rogue Sport is expect to cost, but it makes sense given the more powerful engines. The Sportage retails from $22,900 in base trim, while the range-topping SX Turbo model costs $32,500. The Tucson comes in at $22,700, while the high-end Limited model priced from $29,900.

Kia Sportage LX $22,990.00
Kia Sportage EX $25,500.00
Kia Sportage SX Turbo $32,500.00
Hyundai Tucson SE $22,700
Hyundai Tucson Eco $24,150
Hyundai Tucson Sport $26,150
Hyundai Tucson Limited $29,900
Nissan Rogue Sport TBA

Other Competitors

Volkswagen Tiguan

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan
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Redesigned in 2015, the new Tiguan has yet to arrive in U.S. dealerships, but will become avaialble later in 2017. Updated to Volkswagen current design language for SUVs, which blends the somewhat boxy cues from the past a sportier, modern touches borrowed from smaller cars, the second-gen Tiguan is a slightly more upscale proposition. It’s also larger too, being some four inches longer and almost two inches longer. But that’s the regular model. The LWB version, which will go on sale for the 2018 model, is even larger, and unlike the Qashqai or all the crossovers listed above, comes with a third-row seat option. Under the hood, the new Tiguan uses a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, but more drivetrains will be added later on. With the outgoing model priced from $24,995, the upcoming Tiguan could cost around $26,000 before options, which makes it the most expensive vehicle in this comparison.

Learn more about the Volkswagen Tiguan here.

Honda CR-V

2017 Honda CR-V
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The Honda CR-V is a full eight inches longer than the Rogue Sport and falls in a different category, but if none of the crossovers above get you going, it’s a great option if you’re willing to spend a bit more. Sporting a more rugged design, a fresh interior with plenty of soft-touch surfaces and updated technology, the new CR-V also benefits from more interior space. Compared to the Rogue Sport, it offers more headroom in the front, extra legroom in the rear and an impressive amount of cargo room. Specifically, up to 39.2 cubic feet are available with the rear seat up, which increases to a whopping 75.8 cubic feet with the seats folded flat. Standard motivation comes from a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 184 horsepower and 180 pound-feet, but the big news is the turbocharged 1.5-liter with 190 horses and 179 pound-feet. Granted, none of these engines are as powerful as Kia’s range-topping mill, but the CR-V packs more oomph than the Rogue Sport. Pricing starts from $24,045, but the extra $2,000 over the Nissan doesn’t sound like much given that you’re getting a significantly larger cabin.

Find out more about the Honda CR-V here.

Conclusion

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Exterior
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It’s too early to say whether Nissan made a smart move by bringing the Qashqai to the U.S., but Nissan sure looks to have a strong crossover lineup. Now that the Rogue Sport is on its way to dealerships, Nissan’s SUV family includes no fewer than six nameplates. Will the U.S.-spec Qashqai make a difference? The styling and the new interior could bring new buyers into dealerships, but the small cargo area with the rear seats up and the not-so-powerful engine are definitely turn offs.

  • Leave it
    • * Needs more interior and trunk space
    • * Needs a more powerful, turbo engine too

Press Release

The new 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport, which is designed to expand the audience for Nissan’s top-selling Rogue crossover when it goes on sale this spring, is set to make its auto show debut this morning at the North American International Auto Show.

The redesigned Rogue broke Nissan’s all-time U.S. single month sales record for an individual model in December 2016 with sales of 40,477 units. Rogue also passed Nissan’s longtime sales leader, Altima, for the 2016 calendar year Nissan U.S. sales crown.

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Exterior
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The new Rogue Sport will be joined on stage by a new Nissan sedan concept. Presenting the two new vehicles will be José Muñoz, Chief Performance Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.; Chairman, Nissan North America, Inc., and Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President, Chief Creative Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

"The new Rogue Sport is a perfect addition to the red hot Rogue lineup, which is also adding a first-ever Rogue Hybrid model for 2017," said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "With Rogue Sport’s slightly smaller dimensions and sporty maneuverability, it’s ideal for singles or couples without kids – or empty nesters – who want a sportier vehicle and can live with a little less cargo capacity than the current Rogue offers."

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Exterior
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Rogue Sport has a 2.3-inch shorter wheelbase and a 12.1-inch shorter overall length than Rogue, helping make it more maneuverable in city traffic and an ideal size for tight city parking spaces. Other helpful city adventure features range from up to 61.1 cubic feet of cargo space (2nd row seat folded) and available innovative Divide-N-Hide® Cargo System to the Around View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD)1.

Rogue Sport offers available Nissan Intelligent Safety Shield technologies including Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection2, Intelligent Cruise Control3, Rear Cross Traffic Alert4 and Forward Emergency Braking2.

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Exterior
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Rogue Sport is offered with a standard 141-horsepower 2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) system engine and Xtronic transmission. It goes on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide – in a choice of S, SV and SL grade levels – beginning in spring 2017.

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport High Resolution Interior
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The Nissan sedan concept, which will be revealed at this morning’s media event in the Nissan display at the North American International Auto Show, combines a look at the Nissan’s future design direction while also providing hints at the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility – the company’s roadmap to achieving zero emissions and zero fatalities.

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